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6 Months After Ranjit Kumar Resigned, RTI Reveals No Progress to Find New Solicitor General

The position of SG is vacant since November 1, 2017 after senior advocate Ranjit Kumar resigned from the post, citing personal reasons.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:May 29, 2018, 4:21 PM IST
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6 Months After Ranjit Kumar Resigned, RTI Reveals No Progress to Find New Solicitor General
File photo of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
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New Delhi: The suspense over the new Solicitor General of India keeps growing.

While this coveted position of the law officer has been vacant for more than six months now, it seems not even one official meeting has taken place to pick the new SG, nor have the names been shortlisted till date.

The position of SG is vacant since November 1, 2017 after senior advocate Ranjit Kumar resigned from the post, citing personal reasons.

But a response from the Union Law Ministry to an RTI application now indicates that no formal steps have been taken to find his replacement even after six months.

Replying to an RTI application by CNN-News18, the Law Ministry has said it has no information about the meetings conducted to select the new SG or the names of the lawyers in the zone of consideration.

Further, the Ministry has stated that no information is available with it regarding the lawyers who have either turned down the position or those who have sought to stake claim to the top post.

The RTI response has also maintained that the Law Ministry, which notifies the appointments of the law officers in the country, has no information about when can one expect the post to be filled up.

This reply had only added to the mystery over the new SG even as the position has been vacant for one of the longest periods by any government.

It is a rare instance when the post of SG is not filled up after a resignation by an incumbent has come through.

The names of the law officers, including the SG, is approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).

Sources tell CNN-News18 that the government has been in a fix over appointing the new SG.

It needs to decide whether to appoint one of the current Additional Solicitors General (ASGs) as the SG or to pick some other senior lawyer.

On the question of elevating one of its ASGs, sources in the government add, there has been an issue of seniority among the ASGs while a veteran lawyer, who was sought as a neutral choice, turned down the offer around three months ago.

The Law Ministry's RTI response has however made it very clear that the government is yet to resort to official steps for making the appointment while a very significant position remains unoccupied.

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