The Advocate General (AG) is the highest Law officer of the State, shouldering the huge responsibility of assisting the government in all its legal matters of real importance. He has to ensure he fairly defends and protects the interest of the State and towards this goal it has to be ensured that the best legal brain with the correct attitude and courage to act is entrusted the task.

The AG should act as the guardian of the State in tendering legal advice to the government which should never be partisan nor tailor made to suit the political bosses. By being above board the AG should ensure that his legal advice is always without any prejudice or vested consideration. This would ensure the rule of law is respected and enforced impartially and with no fear or favour.

It should not be left to the sole discretion of the Chief Minister of a State to handpick the AG. Some guidelines need to be formulated on selection of the Advocate General. Also to avoid the current very wide disparity in the fees of the AG, it should be uniform across the country. Isn’t it a laughable anomaly that Goa is hosting India’s highest paid AG who is pocketing more than the President of India’s salary?

Article 165 (1) of our Constitution mandates that the Advocate General should be a person who is qualified to be appointed as a High Court Judge. But ironically the Supreme Court Collegium in its resolution on March 25th 2019 was of the opinion that Goa’s current AG Devidas Pangam did not meet the requirements to be a High Court Judge.

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