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Mukul Rohatgi declines Centre’s offer to be next Attorney General of India

According to reports, Rohatgi had accepted the offer of returning as the A-G after the centre had approached the 67-year-old. His second stint was slated to start from October 1.

Mukul Rohatgi declines Centre’s offer to be next Attorney General of India
Mukul Rohatgi (IE)

Senior Supreme Court advocate Mukul Rohatgi is reported to have declined the Centre’s request to return as India’s Attorney General (A-G) after the incumbent KK Venugopal steps down as the government’s top legal officer in September-end. Venugopal had succeeded Rohatgi as the A-G back in 2017.

Confirming the development to The Indian Express, Rohatgi said there was no specific reason behind his “change of mind” and said he arrived at the decision after “second thoughts”. When pointed out that he had earlier given his consent to the appointment, Rohatgi said, “That’s why I said on second thoughts. The notification is not out yet. So…”  

Also Read: Mukul Rohatgi likely to return as Attorney General of India on October 1

After having served for five years, the 91-year-old Venugopal was reluctant to continue at the top post till 2024, citing old age and health concerns. According to reports, Rohatgi had accepted the offer of returning as the A-G after the centre had approached the 67-year-old. His second stint was slated to start from October 1.

Venugopal had requested the government to let him go after the 2020 Lok Sabha elections. After the government asked him to stay for another five-year term, Venugopal could only carry on for two more years.

Even after stepping down from his post, Rohatgi has helped the government time and again when it came to sensitive matters including the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir. Rohatgi has also been the Solicitor General. He has appeared in several high profile cases. He had represented the Gujarat government in the 2002 riots case and had also appeared as Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s legal counsel in the drugs-on-cruise case.

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The A-G is the highest law officer in India and acts as the government’s chief legal advisor. The A-G’s role becomes crucial as the government is the biggest litigant in the country. The constitution doesn’t provide any limit to the tenure. He serves at the pleasure of the President. He represents the government in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts as well. He can be heard in any court of law that falls within the territory of India. The A-G can speak or participate in both houses of the parliament. However, he doesn’t exercise any voting powers.

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