November 1, 2017 9:37:14 pm
The resignation of Ranjit Kumar as the solicitor general was accepted today, and with this the process to find his replacement has begun, a senior law ministry functionary said. Kumar had resigned as the second senior-most law officer of the government on October 20 citing personal reasons.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the resignation Wednesday. Now the law ministry will send a list of senior lawyers to the Prime Minister’s Office to allow it to select one as the next solicitor general.
Additional solicitors general Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh are learnt to be the front-runners for the job. There was speculation a few months ago that the Supreme Court collegium was considering Kumar’s name as a judge of the apex court.
Recently, Mukul Rohatgi had written to the government that he was not interested in a second term as attorney general. Senior lawyer K K Venugopal was appointed as new attorney general. During his over three-year stint, Kumar represented the Centre in the apex court in crucial cases including the pleas against demonetisation and rising pollution. He also assisted the apex court in deciding the issue whether a state government can grant pardon to the death row convicts in cases which are probed and prosecuted by central agencies like CBI.
Kumar had succeeded SG Mohan Parasaran in 2014 after the Narendra Modi government assumed the office. His second term as solicitor general was renewed recently. Before assuming the office of solicitor general, Ranjit Kumar represented Gujarat government in several cases and assisted the apex court as amicus curiae in cases including the matter pertaining to Yamuna pollution.
Kumar had appeared in the the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case and also represented then Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case in local Bangalore court.
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