"The official also advises government on the legal issues surfacing from time to time in discharge of its legal and constitutional obligations."
New Delhi, May 28 - The Narendra Modi government Wednesday appointed senior Supreme Court counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the Gujarat government in several 2002 post-Godhra riot-related cases, as attorney general of India.
He succeeds G.E. Vahanvati who resigned following the rout of the Congress-led UPA in the 2014 general election.
A versatile lawyer who has appeared in a large number of cases representing various state governments, corporate houses and individual litigants in the Supreme Court, Rohatgi told IANS shortly after his appointment that his priority is to streamline the working of the central agency that files appeals in the Supreme Court on behalf of the central government.
He said he would endeavour to reduce the time in the filing of appeals by the government, which at times takes six to eight months, and even at that stage, the papers are often not complete.
Rohatgi, who will take charge Thursday, said he would try and reduce the filing of frivolous appeals or appeals involving recovery of petty amounts by the government as well as working for improved co-ordination between the law ministry and other ministries which are connected with appeals before the court.
I will work for improved co-ordination between the law ministry and other ministries concerned with the subject before the court as well as better co-ordination between the law department in the central government and those in states, Rohatgi told IANS.
As the country's first law officer, the attorney general is the only non-member of parliament who can come to parliament to give his opinion when it is sought.
The official also advises government on the legal issues surfacing from time to time in discharge of its legal and constitutional obligations.
According to Article 76 of the constitution, the attorney general will be a person who is qualified to be appointed as an apex court judge.