Senior advocate K K Venugopal has emerged as the front-runner for the post of Attorney General following the decision of Mukul Rohatgi to step down as the top law officer in the government.
The Attorney General’s appointment is likely to be announced shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from his three-nation tour, sources in the know said.
Asked whether the 86-year-old noted constitutional expert has given his consent, they said that the issue and other aspects of his appointment will be considered only after the return of the PM.
“It will be pre-mature to comment anything at this moment. Wait for the return of the PM. The PM has to decide,” the sources said.
Venugopal, who is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan, is likely to represent as the top law officer for the second time, as he was one of the Additional Solicitors General during Morarji Desai’s government.
He has been associated with several government instrumentalities to represent them as a senior advocate. Lately, he has been appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation 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 Bharatiya Janata Party 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 protected.
Later, when on December 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 evening.
Venugopal 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 completion of the trial in two years.