K K Venugopal is new Attorney General of India

K K Venugopal is new Attorney General of India

NEW DELHI (INDIA): Senior advocate K K Venugopal’s name has been cleared for appointment as the Attorney General for India following the decision of Mukul Rohatgi to step down as the top law officernnThe proposal to appoint the 86-year-old veteran lawyer as the successor of Rohatgi was discussed before the departure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his recent visit to the US, Portugal and the Netherlandsnn”Venugopal had a meeting with Modi before his departure to a three-nation tour,” sources saidnnWhen contacted on Friday and asked about his priorities as the Attorney General, Venugopal said “I will speak only after the notification is issued.”nnHe told PTI that the notification is likely to be issued in a day or twonnThe Law Ministry had recently referred the file relating to the appointment of Venugopal as the Attorney General to the Prime Minister’s Office for a final call, sources had saidnnAfter the decision is finalised, the President has to sign the Warrant of Appointment of the Attorney GeneralnnA 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 seventiesnnHe 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 scamnnThe 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 officernnHe 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 judiciarynnHowever, 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 by assuring the Supreme Court that the disputed medieval structure would be protectednnLater, when on Decemeber 6, 1992, the structure was brought down by the kar sevaks, he had appeared before a bench of then Chief Justice M N Venkatachaliah at his residence in the eveningnnVenugopal had recently appeared for senior BJP leader L K 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 yearsnnHe has also appeared for P J 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 decisionnnHe 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 governmentnnThe 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.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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