KK Venugopal has taken charge as the new Attorney General of India after the government issued the required notification, News18 reported.
Govt issues notification appointing KK Venugopal as A-G; KK Venugopal takes charge as new Attorney General of India pic.twitter.com/LLklNvMWrX
— News18 (@CNNnews18) July 2, 2017
After former attorney-general, Mukul Rohatgi asked the NDA government to not reconsider him for reappointment to the top constitutional post, the government had decided to appoint senior constitutional expert Venugopal as the Attorney General.
The proposal to appoint the 86-year-old veteran lawyer as the successor to Rohatgi was discussed before the departure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his recent visit to the US, Portugal and the Netherlands.
A noted constitutional expert, Venugopal is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan. He would become a law officer for the second time after being an Additional Solicitor General during the Morarji Desai government during the seventies.
He has been associated with several government instrumentalities and has been representing them as a senior advocate. Lately, he has been appearing for the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate before the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
The apex court had asked him to continue in the matter despite Venugopal's replacement by the ED after he had taken a view different from the agency and the government on the removal of an investigation officer.
He also represented the Madhya Pradesh Government during the hearing of National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in which he supported the validity of the central law to do away with the collegium system of appointment of judges for the higher judiciary.
However, his association with the BJP regime goes back to the Ayodhya movement when he had appeared for the then Kalyan Singh Government in Uttar Pradesh, assuring the Supreme Court that the disputed medieval structure would be protected.
Later, when on 6 Decemeber 1992, the structure was brought down by the kar sevaks, he had appeared before a bench of then Chief Justice MN Venkatachaliah at his residence in the evening.
Venugopal had recently appeared for senior BJP leader LK Advani and others before the apex court which restored the charge of criminal conspiracy against them and ordered the completion of the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case, in two years.
He has also appeared for PJ Thomas when his appointment as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner by the erstwhile UPA government was challenged in the apex court which had set aside the government's decision.
He also appeared for Dandi Swamy Sri Vidyanada Bhartiji and J Jayalalithaa, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, in 2008 in the Sethusamudram case, popularly known as Ram Sethu matter, against the construction of the ambitious shipping canal project of the previous UPA government.
The Supreme Court had stayed the construction of the controversial Ram Sethu or Adams Bridge project, a barrier located southeast of Rameshwaram, which connects Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jul 02, 2017 12:15 PM