Supreme Court And Centre's Top Lawyer Discuss Matters About End Of Tenure

A Constitution bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud will fix the schedule for hearing on September 27 on the contentious issue of the scope of powers of the centre and the Delhi government over control of services

Supreme Court And Centre's Top Lawyer Discuss Matters About End Of Tenure

The Supreme Court may exercise its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution

New Delhi:

Senior advocate KK Venugopal whose tenure as the Attorney General is coming to end on September 30 was told by the Supreme Court on Wednesday that his assistance may be needed in the adjudication of the contentious issue of a tussle between the centre and the Delhi government over control of services and the Supreme Court may exercise its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution for the purpose.

"You don't underestimate the powers of this court under Article 142 of the Constitution,'' the Supreme Court told Mr Venugopal when he informed that his tenure is coming to an end on September 30.

"There is a little problem. My tenure is coming to an end on September 30," the Attorney General at the outset told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud that will fix the schedule for hearing on September 27 on the contentious issue of the scope of powers of the centre and the Delhi government over control of services.

The bench would tentatively start the hearing on October 11.

The bench also comprising Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha while referring to the court's extraordinary power under Article 142 was perhaps suggesting that it may require the assistance of Mr Venugopal in the matter.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the centre, said in a lighter vein, "I may be the petitioner for that".

On June 29, Mr Venugopal, 91, was re-appointed the Attorney General for India for three months.

Mr Venugopal, the chief legal adviser to the government and top law officer of the country, was not willing to continue in the position due to "personal reasons" but acceded to a request by the government. His present one-year term was to end on June 30.

Mr Venugopal, the oldest person to occupy the post, was appointed the Attorney General in July 2017, succeeding senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi. He was subsequently reappointed to the post.

The Attorney General usually has a tenure of three years. When Mr Venugopal's first term was to end in 2020, he had requested the government to relieve him of his responsibilities on account of his advanced age.

However, he later accepted a fresh tenure of one year, as the government was keen on Mr Venugopal's continuance given the high-profile cases he was handling and his vast experience at the Bar.

An eminent advocate of the Supreme Court, Mr Venugopal has appeared in a large number of cases involving important issues of constitutional and corporate law, including the constitutional challenge to the dilution of Article 370 and the matter related to Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to sedition.

He was an Additional Solicitor General of India between 1979 and 1980 and a recipient of Padma Bhushan in 2002 and Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

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