Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has recently written to the central government expressing his desire to be relieved from the post of the highest law officer of the country. In light of this development, speculations are rife as to who will be India’s next AG.
Rohatgi has informed the government that he would like to go back to his private practice.
Last week, the government had given an ad hoc extension to all the law officers except Neeraj Kishan Kaul, who had already resigned from the post of Additional Solicitor General.
The first obvious contender for the post of Attorney General is Senior Advocate Harish Salve. Salve is already representing the Government in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case before the ICJ .
And this is not the first time the Modi government has asked Salve to be Attorney General. The government had earlier too persuaded him to change his mind to accept the post. However, some of the sources close to Salve have indicated that he has already denied the offer to be the Attorney General.
Another speculation doing the rounds is that the Government is considering elevating Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to the post of AG. This would mean that they would have to look for another candidate for the post of Solicitor General. And in this scenario, it is likely that ASG Tushar Mehta may be elevated to the post of SG.
Another frontrunner for the AG post is Constitution law expert KK Venugopal. Sources said that KK Venugopal is 86 years and may not want the stress of the Attorney General job at this age.
According to sources, the name of Senior Advocate Arvind Datar has also been recommended to the Prime Minister’s Office but it seems doubtful that he is in the race for the post.
The last name that came up was that of Gujarat Advocate’s General Kamal Trivedi. It is likely that government wants someone from Modi’s home state. The other possibility could be that if Ranjit Kumar is made the Attorney General, Trivedi could be given the post of Solicitor General. In 2014, both Ranjit Kumar and Trivedi were the front-runners for the post of Solicitor General.
On who should be the next Attorney general, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave said,
“Government needs an outstanding lawyer as Attorney General and someone who can call spade a spade, and someone who can uphold the constitution of India.”
So will the next Attorney General be from this list? The Prime Minister will have the final say in this matter.