CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT K K Venugopal is set to be India’s 15th Attorney General, with the Central government clearing his name and the President approving it. All that remains is the formality of the government notifying it. The file regarding the appointment has been cleared by the Prime Minister’s Office and forwarded to the President by the Law Ministry, and has been approved, sources said on Friday. The notification may take a day or two more, they added.
The 86-year-old replaces Mukul Rohatgi, who had expressed a desire to step down even though the government had extended his tenure.Born in Kasargod district of Kerala, Venugopal started his legal career in 1954 in the then High Court of Mysore, and then at the Madras High Court, where he practised under his father, late barrister M K Nambiar. He shifted base to Delhi after being the Additional Solicitor General by the Morarji Desai government in 1977.
During the Ayodhya movement, 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 the structure was brought down by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992, he had appeared before a bench of then Chief Justice M N Venkatachaliah at his residence in the evening.More recently, Venugopal had 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 the completion of the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case in two years.He has also appeared for P J Thomas when his appointment as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner by the previous UPA government was challenged in the apex court, which had set aside the government’s decision.