Who is a Solicitor General?

The Solicitor General Of India (SGI) is the second highest law officer in India. The SGI assists the Attorney General of India (AGI) and is assisted by subordinate Additional Solicitors General of India.

The solicitor general and the additional Solicitor generals advise the government on behalf of the union of India. Unlike the AGI, the post of Solicitor general and the Additional Solicitors General is statutory. In other words, the Solicitor General position was created by an act of the parliament and the post may be abolished by an act of Parliament.

Appointment and tenure of Solicitor General.

The appointment of SGi ir recommended by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) and the President officially appoints the solicitor general.

The term of the SGI generally stands for 3 years, but they may hold the office to the presidents pleasure. Which in other words means that they may be removed anytime on the advice of the Prime Minister by the President. They may also quit by submitting the resignation to the President.

Roles Of SGI

  • To advise on any legal matter or to perform any legal task that the Government of India delegates to them from time to time.
  • To appear on behalf of the government before the Supreme Court Of India in cases including suits, petitions and other processes.
  • To represent the Indian Government in the Supreme court in any case brought forward by the President.
  • To carry out corresponding responsibilities placed on a law enforcement officer by the constitution of any other law.

Limitations of SGI

  • The Solicitor General cannot defend an accused individual in criminal prosecution without the consent of the Indian Government.
  • They can only hold briefs for the Government of India, the Government of a State or any body that the government has predominant interest in.
  • Unlike the Attorney General, the Solicitor General does not have any rights concerning his participation in the parliament.
  • A Solicitor General can not counsel any party against the Government of India or  a public sector undertaking.
  • The SGI cannot undertake appointments to any group or business without the permission of the Government Of India.
  • Unless the references are received through the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, The SGI cannot advise any ministry, department, organization or any public sector undertaking.

The SGI and the AGI collectively known as the Law officers of the Crown, set up the representation of the Government and various other public entities in court.

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