An eminent lawyer and a constitutional expert, Kottayan Katankot Venugopal also known as KK Venugopal has succeeded Mukul Rohatgi to become the new Attorney General of India following the latter’s decision to step down as the top law officer.
Born in 1931, Venugopal has over 60 years of experience and is highly regarded in judicial circle. Venugopal began his career in 1954. In the 1960s, the 86-year-old moved to Delhi after practicing in Chennai.
In 1972, he got the status of Senior Advocate, thanks to his rising prominence and stellar track record. He remained a Senior Advocate for 45 years. In 1977, he was the solici
He has been a senior advocate for 45 years. He was the solicitor general in the Janata Party government in 1977. Venugopal has been involved in many high-profile cases. The Royal Government of Bhutan took his services as an advisor for drafting the country’s constitution because of his firm grip on Indian constitution.
In the 2G spectrum case, Venugopal was the amicus curiae. He has also been involved in the Babri case and presented LK Advani’s case recently. In 2015, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, by the Indian government for his excellent services in the legal field. Venugopal is the recipient of Padma Bhushan as well.
He has become a law officer for the second time after being an Additional Solicitor General during the Morarji Desai government during the seventies.
He also represented the Madhya Pradesh Government during the hearing of National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in which he supported the validity of the central law to do away with the collegium system of appointment of judges for the higher judiciary.
However, his association with the BJP regime goes back to the Ayodhya movement when he had appeared for the then Kalyan Singh Government in Uttar Pradesh by assuring the Supreme Court that the disputed medieval structure would be protected.
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Later, on December 6, 1992, he had appeared before a bench of then Chief Justice M N Venkatachaliah at his residence in the evening.
He has also appeared for P J Thomas when his appointment as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner by the erstwhile UPA government was challenged in the apex court which had set aside the government’s decision.
He also appeared for Dandi Swamy Sri Vidyanada Bhartiji and J Jayalalithaa, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, in 2008 in the Sethusamudram case, popularly known as Ram Sethu matter, against the construction of the ambitious shipping canal project of the previous UPA government.
The Supreme Court had stayed the construction of the controversial Ram Sethu or Adams Bridge project, a barrier located southeast of Rameshwaram, which connects Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka.
(With inputs from PTI)