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Solicitor General of India (UPSC Notes)

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Solicitor General of India: The Solicitor General of India is the second law officer in the country, after the Attorney General of India who is the highest law officer in India. The Attorney General of India is the superior of the Solicitor General of India (SGI). In accordance with the Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1972, the SGI and the Addl. SGIs provide advice to the Government and represent the Union of India. The positions of Solicitor General and Additional Solicitors General are purely statutory, in contrast to the Attorney General for India, which is a constitutional post as defined by Article 76 of the Indian Constitution.

In this article, you will read about the Solicitor General of India, the appointment of Solicitor General, tenure, functions, limitations, and list of Solicitor General of India.

Solicitor General of India 2023

Mr. Tushar Mehta is the current solicitor general of India. As the Solicitor General of India at the moment, Tushar Mehta is a senior counsel in India. Mehta studied at Gujarat University, where he won five gold medals in addition to his legal degree. Additionally, Karnataka State Law University and Amity University in Noida have awarded him honorary doctorates. The Attorney General of India is in responsibility of the Solicitor General, who serves as the nation’s secondary legal officer. Several solicitor generals in India support the Solicitor General.

Read more: Attorney General of India

1st Solicitor General of India

From 1950 until 1963, Indian lawyer Chander Kishan Daphtary served as the country’s first Solicitor General. He was born on April 1, 1893, and passed away on February 18, 1983.

Appointment of Solicitor General of India

The Prime Minister-chaired Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) recommends the appointment and the President officially appoints the Solicitor General. The proposal for the appointment of the Solicitor General is typically moved to the level of Joint Secretary/Law Secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs. Once the Minister of Law and Justice has given his/her approval, the proposal then moves to the ACC and then to the President.

Tenure of Solicitor General of India

Generally, the Solicitor General is appointed for a term of 3 Years, but he holds office during the pleasure of the President, which means he can be removed anytime by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and Union Cabinet. He may also quit his office by submitting his resignation to the President. He/she is eligible for reappointment after ceasing to hold office.

Solicitor General of India List

The following is a list of India’s Solicitor Generals since independence:

Solicitor General

Term Duration

Term Length

Prime Minister

1. Chander Kishan Daphtary

28 January 1950 – 1 March 196313 years, 32 days

Jawaharlal Nehru

2. H.N. Sanyal

2 March 1963 – 9 September 19641 year, 191 days

Jawaharlal Nehru

Lal Bahadur Shastri

3. S. V. Gupta

10 September 1964 – 16 September 19673 years, 6 days

Lal Bahadur Shastri

Indira Gandhi

4. Niren De

30 September 1967 – 30 October 19681 year, 30 days

Indira Gandhi

5. Jagdish Swarup

5 June 1969 – 4 June 19722 years, 365 days

Indira Gandhi

6. Lal Narayan Sinha

17 July 1972 – 5 April 19774 years, 262 days

Indira Gandhi

7. S. N. Kacker

5 April 1977 – 2 August 19792 years, 119 days

Morarji Desai

8. Soli Jehangir Sorabji

9 August 1979 – 25 January 1980169 days

Charan Singh

9. Keshava Parasaran

6 March 1980 – 8 August 19833 years, 155 days

Indira Gandhi

10. Milon Kumar Banerji

4 April 1986 – 3 April 19892 years, 364 days

Rajiv Gandhi

11. Ashok Desai

18 December 1989 – 2 December 1990349 days

V. P. Singh

12. A. D. Giri

4 December 1990 – 1 December 1991362 days

Chandra Shekhar

13. Dipankar P. Gupta

9 April 1992 – 10 April 19975 years, 1 day

P. V. Narsimha Rao

H. D. Deve Gowda

14. Tehmtan R. Andhyarujina11 April 1997 – 4 April 1998358 daysInder Kumar Gujral
15. Nitte Santhosh Hegde10 April 1998 – 7 January 1999272 daysAtal Bihari Vajpayee
16. Harish Salve1 November 1999 – 3 November 20023 years, 2 daysAtal Bihari Vajpayee
17. Kirit Raval4 November 2002 – 19 April 20041 year, 167 daysAtal Bihari Vajpayee

18. Goolam Essaji Vahanvati

20 June 2004 – 7 June 20094 years, 352 daysManmohan Singh

19. Gopal Subramaniam

15 June 2009 – 14 July 20112 years, 29 daysManmohan Singh

20. Rohintan Fali Nariman

23 July 2011 – 4 February 20131 year, 196 daysManmohan Singh

21. Mohan Parasaran

15 February 2013 – 26 May 20141 year, 100 daysManmohan Singh

22. Ranjit Kumar

7 June 2014 – 20 October 20173 years, 135 daysNarendra Modi

23. Tushar Mehta

10 October 2018 – Incumbent5 years, 27 daysNarendra Modi

Functions of Solicitor General of India

Law officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987 set down the responsibilities of the Indian Solicitor General:

  • To perform any legal tasks or advice on any legal matters that the Government of India may from time to time delegate or assign to him.
  • To represent the Indian Government in any case brought before the Supreme Court by the President in accordance with Article 143 of the Constitution.
  • To appear on behalf of the Government of India in cases (including suits, writ petitions, appeals, and other processes) in which the Government is involved as a party, before the Supreme Court, or in any High Court.
  • To carry out any additional responsibilities placed on a law enforcement officer by the Constitution or any other current law.

Limitations of Solicitor General of India

The following are the limitations of the Solicitor General of India:

  • Without the Indian Government’s consent, the Solicitor General can not defend an accused individual in criminal prosecution.
  • He can not hold briefs for any party in any court, except the Government of India, the Government of a State, or any body or institution in which the Government has a preponderant interest. 
  • The Solicitor General does not have the rights concerning his participation in parliament, unlike the Attorney General.
  • He can not counsel any party against the Government of India or a public sector undertaking, in situations where he is likely to be asked to represent or advise the above-mentioned authorities.
  • Without the permission of the Government of India, the Solicitor General can not accept appointments to any positions within any business or entity.
  • The Solicitor General can not advise any ministry, department, statutory organization, or any public sector undertaking unless the reference is received through the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Legal Affairs.

The Solicitor General is an alternate, who fills in for the Attorney General whenever necessary. They are collectively known as the Law Officers of the Crown, and primarily their roles include advising the Government on legal matters and setting up the representation of the Government and various other public entities in court.

Important Facts about Solicitor General of India

  1. Role and Hierarchy:
    • The Solicitor General of India is the second-highest legal officer in the country, following the Attorney General of India.
    • Both the Attorney General and the Solicitor General provide legal advice to the government and represent the Union of India in legal matters.
  2. Appointment Process:
    • The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), chaired by the Prime Minister, recommends the appointment of the Solicitor General.
    • The President of India officially appoints the Solicitor General.
  3. Tenure and Removal:
    • The typical tenure of the Solicitor General is three years, but the position is held at the pleasure of the President.
    • The President, on the advice of the Prime Minister and Union Cabinet, can remove the Solicitor General. The Solicitor General can also resign by submitting a resignation to the President.
  4. Current Solicitor General (2023):
    • Mr. Tushar Mehta is the current Solicitor General of India.
  5. Educational Background of Current Solicitor General:
    • Tushar Mehta is a senior counsel in India who studied at Gujarat University, where he earned his legal degree and won five gold medals.
  6. List of Solicitor Generals Since Independence:
    • The position of Solicitor General was first held by Chander Kishan Daphtary in 1950.
    • The list includes legal luminaries who have served in this role, contributing to India’s legal landscape.
  7. Functions of the Solicitor General:
    • The responsibilities of the Solicitor General are outlined in the Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987.
    • Functions include providing legal advice, representing the government in the Supreme Court, and taking on additional responsibilities assigned by the Constitution or other laws.
  8. Limitations of the Solicitor General:
    • The Solicitor General has certain limitations, such as not defending accused individuals in criminal prosecutions without government consent and not counseling any party against the government.
  9. Alternate to Attorney General:
    • The Solicitor General serves as an alternate to the Attorney General and collectively, they are known as the Law Officers of the Crown.
  10. Parliamentary Participation:
    • Unlike the Attorney General, the Solicitor General does not have rights regarding participation in parliament.

FAQs on Solicitor General of India

1. Who is the Current Solicitor General of India?

Tushar Mehta is India’s current solicitor general. Tushar Mehta’s reappointment as India’s solicitor general has been confirmed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. After the Attorney General, the Solicitor General is the second most senior legal officer.

2. Who is Solicitor General of India Raju?

Raju Ramachandran was an Additional Solicitor General before becoming a senior attorney at the Supreme Court of India. He supported the Supreme Court of India as an amicus curia, or friend of the court, in the cases of the Gujarat riots in 2002 and Ajmal Kasab’s appeal in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

3. Can Solicitor General sit in Parliament?

Yes, the two government officers who are permitted to attend Indian Parliament proceedings are the Attorney General and the Solicitor General.

4. Is Solicitor General of India Chief Legal Advisor?

The Attorney General of India serves as both the main legal counsel and representative of the Indian government before the Supreme Court of India. In accordance with Article 76(1) of the Constitution, the President of India appoints him, and he serves as such for as long as the President so desires.

5. Is Solicitor General appointed by President?

The President formally appoints the Solicitor General after the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), chaired by the Prime Minister, makes the recommendation.



Last Updated : 15 Jan, 2024
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