Know Who Are The Attorney General, Solicitor General, and Advocate General

Introduction:- There are different terms related to the legal profession and qualification in India. In this short note, we are going to know the difference between the advocate, lawyer, and barrister and the advocate general, attorney general, and solicitor general. Let’s differentiate them.

1. Lawyer and Barrister म्हणजेच कायद्याचे ज्ञान असलेला व्यक्ती

Meaning of the words ‘Lawyer’ and ‘Barrister’.
Barrister: noun Law. (in England) a lawyer who is a member of one of the Inns of Court and who has the privilege of pleading in the higher courts. Informal. any lawyer.

Lawyer: noun- a person whose profession is to represent clients in a court of law or to advise or act for clients in other legal matters. verb (used without object)- to work as a lawyer; practice law. verb (used with object) to submit (a case, document, or the like) to a lawyer for examination, advice, clarification, etc.

From the above definitions, we can understand that the meaning and nature of a lawyer and barrister are the same and equal. The lawyer and barrister hold only the degree and have not obtained the license of practice in the court of law. The major difference is that the lawyer holds an Indian law degree while the Barrister holds a British law degree. Before the independence, many academics went to England and they had learned law there and acquired a Barrister degree. As India was a part of the United Kingdom the degree of barrister was legal in India. Now also the degree is a legal one. The lawyer and the barrister is the first step towards the advocate.

2. Advocate म्हणजेच दुसर्‍याच्या वतीने आणि त्याच्या बाजूने न्यायालयात काम पाहणारा वकील

The word ‘advocate’ means- Verb:- (used with object), ad·vo·cat·ed, ad·vo·cat·ing. to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly: He advocated higher salaries for teachers. Verb: (used without object), ad·vo·cat·ed, ad·vo·cat·ing. to act as an advocate: a father who advocates for his disabled child.
Noun: a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. (usually followed by of): an advocate of peace. a person who pleads for or on behalf of another; intercessor. a person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law.

From the above different meanings, we can understand that the advocate has the right to represent any person, client in the court of law or tribunal. The advocate argues in support of the client, defends him, or pleads on behalf of him. So the only advocates can do practice in the court of law and no lawyer or barrister have the right to practice in the court of law. To become an advocate one has to acquire the qualification such as enrolment in the Bar Council of India and now also pass the examination of the All India Bar Council. Without acquiring the qualifications one can not do practice in the court. In short, the advocate is the practicing lawyer or barrister.

Kinds of Advocate वकीलांचे प्रकार

a) Senior Advocate- Senior advocate means the advocate who has experience of a minimum of 10 years of legal practice in the high court or the supreme court. The senior advocates have special knowledge in advocacy and lawyering.

b) Advocates on Record (AOR)- Advocates on Records means the advocate who has a license to practice in the supreme court. The supreme court of India holds an examination for the post of AOR. Candidates who have passed the examination can practice in the Supreme Court. The main objective of the conditions laid down by the Supreme Court is to save time for the court. Those who have passed the exam, are considered they hold specific knowledge and experience and they can handle the Supreme Court cases intelligently.

c) Advocate: Advocate is the professional who represents his client at all the court, tribunals at the tehsil level, district level, and division level in criminal, civil, revenue cases. 

अ‍ॅटर्नी जनरल, सॉलीसिटर जनरल, अ‍ॅडवोकेट जनरल, पब्लीक प्रॉसिक्यूटर, गव्हर्नमेंट प्लीडर म्हणजे काय?

3) Attorney General:

Definition of Attorney- noun, plural at·tor·neys. a lawyer; attorney-at-law. an attorney-in-fact; agent. Origin:- 1250–1300; Middle English <Anglo-French attourne literally, “(one who is) turned to,” i.e., “(one who is) appointed,” past participle of attourner “to attorn”.

The attorney is the advocate who represents the central government in Supreme Court and other High Courts. The duty is of the attorney is to put forth the legal say of the central government. This is the first advocate of India and he is appointed by the President of India.

4) Solicitor General:

solicitor [ suh-lis-i-ter ]- Definitions- noun- a person who solicits. a person whose business it is to solicit business, trade, etc. an officer having charge of the legal business of a city, town, etc.  (in England and Wales) a member of that branch of the legal profession whose services consist of advising clients, representing them before the lower courts, and preparing cases for barristers to try in the higher courts.

The solicitor is also an advocate and appointed to assist the Attorney General. So the job profile of the solicitor general is no other than the attorney. He also represents the central government in the supreme court and when needed in the High Courts.

5) Advocate General:

The advocate general is the first advocate of the state government. He is appointed by the governor and his job profile is the same as the Attorney General but at the state level. He represents the state government at the state level.

6) Public Prosecutor:

Public prosecutor is the advocate who represents the state in the criminal case at Session court (in criminal cases). There is an assistant public prosecutor to assist the public prosecutor. Prosecution means- the institution and carrying on of legal proceedings against a person i.e. the accused in the criminal case and the prosecutor means who carries the responsibility to prosecute the accused.

7) Government Pleader:

The government pleader means the advocate who represents the state at the district courts. There are Assistant Governemet Pleaders to assist the Government pleader.

Note: the definitions of the words are obtained from https://www.dictionary.com and we are thankful to the website.

The Editor

भारतीय संविधान आणि भारतीय कायद्यांबाबत, तसेच कायदीय चालू घडामोडी, न्यायालयांचे निकाल, निर्णय, आदेशा याबाबत मराठी आणि इंग्रजी अशा दोन्ही भाषेतून वाचकांना ज्ञान मिळावे यासाठी हा ब्लॉग सुरू करण्यात आला आहे. कायद्याचे अभ्यासक, वकील, विद्यार्थी हे सुद्धा या ब्लॉगवर आपले लेख प्रसिद्ध करू शकतात. संपर्क:- अ‍ॅड. रावण धाबे, raavan@yahoo.com

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