Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi has requested the Narendra Modi government not to consider him for reappointment to the office of the country’s seniormost government law officer. Rohatgi, away in London, is learnt to have communicated his wish to the government in a letter soon after the Supreme Court completed hearing in the triple talaq matter. A seven-judge bench of the apex court finished hearing the matter on May 18.
Rohatgi’s tenure ended on June 6 but the Union cabinet decided to reappoint him to the post. On June 3, the Department of Personnel and Training released a notification, extending his tenure as well as those of the solicitor-general and five additional solicitors-general. The notification did not mention when the fresh tenure will end.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension of term of law officers i.e. Attorney General, Solicitor-General and Additional Solicitors-General (Supreme Court) till further orders,” the notification said.
Rohatgi told PTI that he had written to the government last month conveying his wish to discontinue as Attorney-General and return to private practice. “I have conveyed to the government last month that I don’t wish to seek re-appointment. I consider the three-year term as enough and I had also served the previous BJP government for five years. I would like to return to private practice,” Rohatgi told PTI.
He said the extension given to him by the government earlier this month was “ad hoc”, till further orders, as it was done when the Prime Minister was on a visit to Russia. “So, the government has to take a call on my decision,” he said. Asked about his response if PM Narendra Modi insisted that he continue, Rohatgi said: “I will cross the bridge when it comes.” Besides Rohatgi, two additional solicitors-general, P S Patwalia and Neeraj Kishan Kaul, have also chosen not to seek reappointment.