Mukul Rohatgi declines Attorney General’s post: ‘No specific reason’

26 September, 2022 | Pranay Lad

Mukul Rohatgi Headlines

In an unexpected, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi has denied the government’s invitation to serve as Attorney General of India, despite learning that he had previously expressed his desire to d...

In an unexpected, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi has denied the government’s invitation to serve as Attorney General of India, despite learning that he had previously expressed his desire to do so.

If chosen, Rohatgi would have been the 16th Attorney General, his second stint in the top position, with the current incumbent K K Venugopal’s term slated to expire on September 30. From June 2014 until June 2017, he served as AG before Venugopal took over.

In July 2017, Venugopal took over for Rohatgi for a three-year term. The 91-year-old Venugopal had asked to be let go of the position when his three-year appointment came to an end, citing his age. But the federal government continued asking him to stay on and extending his contract.

The late A B Vajpayee nominated Mukul Rohatgi, the son of former Delhi High Court judge Justice Avadh Behari Rohatgi, as additional solicitor general in 1999.

In the Supreme Court, he defended the Gujarat government in issues involving the 2002 riots. When the Narendra Modi administration took power in 2014, he was named AG.

In his capacity as attorney general, Rohatgi unsuccessfully defended the 99th Constitutional Amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, which established the National Judicial Commission to select judges for the Supreme Court and other high courts.

Rohatgi, in his capacity as attorney general, caused a stir in the Aadhaar issue involving the use of biometric data when he asserted that a person does not have ultimate control over his or her body.

Rohatgi represented hotelier Keshav Suri before the Supreme Court in 2018, where he argued against the validity of Article 377, which criminalised same-sex relationships after Venugopal took over as AG. He maintained that a person’s sexual orientation is inherent and natural to their identity.

In the case involving the passing of Judge B H Loya, Rohatgi was chosen as the special prosecutor. The SC later dismissed the petitions seeking a probe into the death.

In addition, the renowned lawyer has defended NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy in a case against the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), as well as Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami after his detention by the Maharashtra police on charges of making unlawful mining allocations.

In opposition to the appeal submitted by Zakia Jafri, wife of Congress MP Ahsan Jafri who was slain in the 2002 post-Godhra riots, he appeared for the SIT established by the SC.

He recently defended the state of Uttar Pradesh against a plea that questioned the refusal of permission to bring charges against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a 2007 case for allegedly making an inflammatory statement.

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