Attorney General gives nod to the contempt of court proceeding

Attorney General gives nod to the contempt of court proceeding

Attorney General gives nod to the contempt of court proceeding- Today Current Affairs

(GS Paper-II, Polity,Constitution,Governance,Social Justice and International Relations) 

Source: The Hindu

Why in news?

  • Acting on a plea, KK Venugopal the Attorney General of India gave consent to initiate the proceedings for The Contempt of Court against Dharm Sansad leader Yati Narsinghanand over his remarks on the Supreme Court and Constitution.

What is contempt of court?

  • It is defined as any act/ offense that is being disrespectful towards the court of law and its officers including any form of gesture that undermines dignity ,justice and authorities of the court.

Law on contempt of court: The Hindu Analysis

  • The contempt of courts of civil and criminal nature is defined under the Contempt Of Court Act 1971 and lays down various procedures and power through which court could penalize the offense of contempt.
  • The consent of the Attorney General/ Solicitor General is a prior condition required under Section 15 of The Contempt of the court Act 1971 to initiate the criminal contempt proceedings before the Supreme Court.

Why is the consent of the Attorney General required?

  • To save the time of the court, the Attorney General is given the responsibility and power of giving consent before taking cognizance of a complaint. In this sense consent of AG acts as a safeguards against frivolous petitions.

Condition where the consent of AG is not required: The Hindu Analysis

  • When a private citizen wants to initiate a case of contempt of Court against a person the consent of AG becomes mandatory.
  • However when the court itself initiates a process of Contempt of Court the consent of the Attorney General is not required. Under article 129 the Supreme Court has the power to initiate the process of contempt of court.

Who is the Attorney General?

  • AG is the highest law officer in the country, provided under article 76 of the constitution.
  • The persons appointed for the post of AG must be-
  1. a) citizen of India
  2. b) judge of some high court for 5 years or advocate for 10 years in High Court
  3. c) eminent jurist in the President’s opinion
  4. d) he/ she shall be qualified to be appointed as judge of Supreme Court.
  • AG is appointed and removed by the president of India. He/ She holds the office during the pleasure of the president and can be removed anytime by him/ her.
  • The constitution has not fixed the term of office of Attorney General.

Duties and function of Attorney General: The Hindu Analysis

  • As a highest law officer, AG acts as an advisor to the Government of India on legal matters.
  • The president assigned the duties and the work of legal character to the AG which he /she is required to perform like-
  • a) to appear before the Supreme Court and high court as a representative of the Government of India.

b) to specifically represent the Government of India to Supreme court under article 143 of the constitution.

  • He/She performs any other function granted under the Constitution and any other law.

Rights and limitations of Attorney General: The Hindu Analysis

  • AG has the right of audience in all the courts in the territory of India, in the performance of his/ her official duties.
  • Has the right to take part in proceedings of both the houses of the Parliament and in their joint sitting.
  • The privileges and immunities available to the Member of Parliament are also granted to AG.
  • He/she shall not provide advice against Government of India and shall not accept the post of director in any company without the permission of the Government of India.
  • AG does not fall under the category of government servant and is not debarred from private legal practice.

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