General Studies IIConstitutionUnion

Solicitor General of India


A delegation of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs recently met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought the removal of Tushar Mehta as the Solicitor General of India, on the grounds of “criminal misconduct” and “gross impropriety” following his meeting with BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari.

About Solicitor General of India:

  • The Solicitor General of India is subordinate to the Attorney General for India.
  • They are the second law officer of the country, assists the Attorney General, and is assisted by Additional Solicitors General for India.
  • Currently, the Solicitor General of India is Tushar Mehta. Like the Attorney General for India, the Solicitor General and the Additional Solicitors General advise the Government and appear on behalf of the Union of India in terms of the Law Officers (Terms and Conditions) Rules, 1972.
  • However, unlike the post of Attorney General for India, which is a Constitutional post under Article 76 of the Constitution of India, the posts of the Solicitor General and the Additional Solicitors General are merely statutory.
  • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) recommends the appointment and president officially appoints the Solicitor General.
  • The proposal for appointment of Solicitor General, Additional Solicitor General is generally moved at the level of Joint secretary/Law Secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs and after obtaining the approval of the Minister of Law & Justice, the proposal goes to the ACC and then to the president.


Duties of Solicitor General are laid out in Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987:

  • to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time, be referred or assigned to him by the Government of India.
  • to appear, whenever required, in the Supreme Court or in any High Court on behalf of the Government of India in cases (including suits, writ petitions, appeal and other proceedings) in which the Government of India is concerned as a party or is otherwise interested;
  • to represent the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution; and
  • to discharge such other functions as are conferred on a Law Officer by or under the Constitution or any other Law for the time being in force.


As law officers represent the Government of India, there are certain restrictions which are put on their private practice. A law officer is not allowed to:

  • hold briefs in any court for any party except the Government of India or the government of a State or any University, Government School or College, local authority, Public Service Commission, Port Trust, Port Commissioners, Government aided or Government managed hospitals, a Government company, any Corporation owned or controlled by the State, any body or institution in which the Government has a preponderating interest;
  • advice any party against the Government of India or a Public Sector Undertaking, or in cases in which he is likely to be called upon to advise, or appear for, the Government of India or a Public Sector Undertaking;
  • defend an accused person in a criminal prosecution, without the permission of the Government of India; or
  • accept appointment to any office in any company or corporation without the permission of the Government of India;
  • advise any Ministry or Department of Government of India or any statutory organisation or any Public Sector Undertaking unless the proposal or a reference in this regard is received through the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Legal Affairs

Source: The Hindu


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