New Delhi: Goolam E. Vahanvati, till recently the Solicitor-General, was on Monday appointed the next Attorney-General for a period of three years.
Mr. Vahanvati, who will succeed Milon K. Banerjee, is the first Muslim to occupy the top law officer’s post in the country in the last six decades.
Assuming office in the Supreme Court, Mr. Vahanvati told The Hindu, “It is a tremendous responsibility which I accept with great humility. I hope the team [of law officers] will be able to give the best representation [in the courts] to the UPA government.”
Mr. Vahanvati, 60, was appointed the Solicitor-General in June 2004. He was practising mainly in the Supreme Court and High Courts, representing the Union of India in important matters, including constitutional and revenue cases.
Prior to being appointed Solicitor-General, he was Advocate-General of Maharashtra from December 1999 to June 2004.
Among several cases, he appeared in the nine judges Bench hearing on the Ninth Schedule, Kuldip Nayyar’s challenge to the amendment to the Representation of the People’s Act with regard to the Rajya Sabha, the tainted Ministers case, in all matters pertaining to the sealing and the challenge to the Delhi Laws Special Provisions Act, 2007 and challenges to the Master Plan 2021.
He successfully defended the challenge to the reservation for OBCs in higher education. He appeared as amicus curiae in the MP Local Area Development Scheme and for Union of India/CBI in the matter relating to power of court to suo motu transfer investigation to the CBI without prior consent of the State government concerned and the judgment is awaited in both the cases.
The International Cricket Council appointed him to hold an inquiry into the allegations of racism in Zimbabwe along with High Court Judge Steven Majiedt in September 2004. He was appointed Single Member Commission to inquire into allegations of racial abuse on South African cricketers during the South African tour of Australia in December 2005.
Gopal Subramaniam is likely to be the next Solicitor-General to succeed Mr. Vahanvati. Mohan Parasaran will be one of the Additional Solicitors-General (ASG) likely to be re-appointed.
Some of the contenders for the ASG post include advocates Gaurav Banerjee, M. Chandraskhekar and Mariarputham. M. Ravindran, present ASG (south) at the Madras High Court, is likely to be shifted to the Supreme Court.
Senior advocates, R. Viduthalai and R. Shanmugasundram and Vice-Chairman of All India Bar Association S. Prabhakaran from Tamil Nadu; Sanjay Hegde and Ramakrishna Reddy are the other aspirants for the post of ASG.