Acting Advocate General Rohit Deo is set to be the new advocate general of Maharashtra, with the state cabinet today deciding to recommend his name for the post to the Governor. At the state cabinet meet, chaired by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, it was decided to suggest Deo’s name as the next AG, a senior official said.
The stepping down of Shreehari Aney in March had left the post vacant since then. The government had recently informed the Bombay High Court that an A-G would be appointed on or before December 30. The state had filed an affidavit on December 13 saying that the post will be filled by the end of the month.
A Division Bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai was hearing a petition filed by Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt. The petition urged the court to direct the State to appoint an A-G under Article 165 of the Constitution.
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The petition also sought that the post, which has been held by Deo since June 17 this year, be declared unconstitutional as it is not in accordance with the same Article. The court had criticised the State for not complying with the deadline of December 23 and had adjourned the matter to January 9.
It had earlier observed that constitutional and statutory functions are suffering due to the non-appointment of the A-G and has hurt the cause of justice. On November 18, 2014, Sunil Manohar was appointed as the A-G, but he resigned on June 9, 2015.
On June 11, 2015, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh was given the additional post of acting A-G. On October 14, 2015, Aney was appointed as the A-G, and he resigned on March 22, 2016. Aney had courted controversy after advocating statehood for Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.