The Advocate General of State is known as the highest law officer of the state in India. Under Article 165 of the Indian Constitution, the Advocate General of State gets appointed. Moreover, this highest law officer gets appointed by the Governor of State. Article 165 and Article 177 of the Indian Constitution talks about the functions of the Advocate General of State. We shall now look into both these articles to better understand the role and power of the Advocate General of State.
Power of Advocate General of State
Articles 165 and 177 majorly talk about the power, appointment and functions of the Advocate General of State.
As per Article 165 of the Indian Constitution,
- For the post of Advocate General of State, every State Governor appoints a person qualified to be a judge of the high court.
- The Government of state handles any legal matter or any duties of legal character as per the advice of the Advocate General.
- This highest law officer can hold office during the pleasure of the Governor. This authority can get remuneration based on what the Governor determines.
According to Article 177,
- The Advocate General of State has the right to speak in the proceedings of the state’s legislative assembly.
- They can participate in the proceedings of the legislature committee.
Functions or Duties of the Advocate General of State
Let us look at the functions of the Advocate General of the State:
- The Governor appoints Advocate General to advise the Government of State on any legal subject matter.
- The Advocate General can also play the role and duties of any legal character that the Governor assigns them.
- As per the official duties of the Advocate General, they have the right of audience in any court of law of the state.
- At the proceedings of both the houses of the state legislature or any committee of the state legislature, the Advocate General can take part as a member without the right to vote.
- The Advocate General can defend the State Government in front of the High Court and Supreme Court.
Functions or Duties of Advocate General of Karnataka State
We will now look at the specific functions and duties of the Advocate General of Karnataka State.
- To defend the interest of Karnataka State and its Department, in any case, the Advocate General of Karnataka State conducts the cases before the Supreme Court of India, Consumer dispute redressal commission of state and nation, Consumer dispute redressal forum, Karnataka Administrative Tribunal, Bangalore benches at Dharwad and Gulbarga, and its Principal bench.
- The Advocate General of Karnataka has all administrative and financial power as they can guide and supervise the Additional Advocate General of State. Additional Advocate General comprises a team of law officers such as government advocates, the state public prosecutors, the additional state public prosecutors, additional government advocates and high court government pleaders
- The Administrative Officer assists the Advocate General at the Unit Office at Dharwad, Gulbarga Unit Office, The Administrative Tribunal Unit Office of Karnataka, and the main office.
- The Advocate General is the ex-office member of Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, Karnataka Law Commission and Karnataka State Bar Council.
- The Advocate General handles water disputes and legal issues before the high court.
- The State Public Prosecutor functions under the Advocate General as he handles all criminal matters. Jobs of various subjects are distributed among Government Pleaders and Government Advocates in the High Court. These rules are followed by advocates appearing before the Supreme Court, State Public Prosecutors, Office of the Advocate General and District Government Pleaders.
Eligibility for Appointment of Advocate General of State
As per the advice of the council of ministers, the Governor appoints the Advocate General of the State.
The eligibility criteria for appointment of Advocate General of State are:
- Candidates must hold an Indian citizenship.
- The age of the candidate should not be more than 62 years, which is the age eligibility criterion of a high court judge.
Limitations of the Advocate General of the State
There are some limitations for the Advocate General’s ability to prevent conflicts of interest and other problems.
- The Advocate General cannot give advice or make a case on behalf of government officials of the State Government.
- They cannot advise or serve as a witness when required to provide advice or make an appearance for a Government of the State.
- The Advocate General cannot advocate for the accused in criminal proceedings without approval from the State Government.
- The Advocate General cannot be appointed as a director in any business or organisation without approval from the State Government.
The State Executive consists of Governors, Chief Minister, the Council of Ministers, and the State’s Advocate General. Part VI (The States) of the Constitution of India’s Article 165, Chapter 2 (The Executive) provides for the Advocate General of The States, which is considered the top officer in law within the state. The State Advocate reports with the Attorney General for India at the Centre. Therefore, the position as the Advocate General has a significant role in the day-to-day tasks of the State Governments within the Federal System of India. Article 165 addresses the position of the Advocate General in India. The Advocate General’s office of State has similar roles and objectives as that of the country’s Attorney General.