Attorney General is the chief legal advisor of Government of Nepal and chief public prosecutor of Nepal. The Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2063 (part 16) describes Attorney General as one of the constitutional bodies. The provisions of the Constitution and other legislative enactments shall govern the appointment, power, function, and extra jurisdictional status of Attorney General of Nepal.
Appointment of Attorney General
According to the constitutional provision, Attorney General is appointed by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister. No person shall be eligible for the post of Attorney General unless he/she is qualified to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court as Article 134 Sub-article (2) of the Constitution describe. As Attorney General is an appointee of President, the appointment seems more political than academic though in practice there are highly academic and experienced persons being appointed in the post of Attorney General. Attorney General is responsible towards Prime Minister for any job he has performed.
Clause (1) and (2) of the Article 134 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal provides about the appointment of the Attorney General. The constitutional provision regarding the Attorney General is as follows:
134. Appointment of Attorney General:
There shall be an Attorney General of Nepal, who shall be appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.85 The Attorney General shall hold office during the pleasure of the Prime Minister.
No person shall be eligible to be appointed as the Attorney General unless he or she is qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
The office of the Attorney General shall be deemed vacant in any of the following circumstances:
(a) if he or she tenders resignation in writing to the President, through the Prime Minister;86
(b) if he or she is relieved of his or her office by the President, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or
(c) if he or she dies.
The remuneration and other facilities of the Attorney General shall be similar to those of a Judge of the Supreme Court. Other conditions of service of the Attorney General shall be as determined by law.
135. Functions duties and power of Attorney General:
The Attorney General shall be the chief legal advisor to the Government of Nepal. It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to give opinions and advices on constitutional and legal matters to the Government of Nepal and such other authorities as the Government of Nepal may specify.
The Attorney General or officers subordinate to him or her shall represent the government of Nepal in lawsuits wherein the rights, interests or concerns of the Government of Nepal are involved. Save as provided otherwise in this Constitution, the Attorney General shall have the right to make the final decision as to whether to institute any case on behalf of the Government of Nepal in any court or judicial authority.
Subject to Clause (2), in the course of performing his or her duties, the Attorney General shall have the power to do the following acts:
(a) To defend, on behalf of the Government of Nepal, any lawsuit in which the Government of Nepal is a plaintiff or a defendant;
(b) To monitor, or cause to be monitored, whether any interpretation given to a law or any legal principle laid down by the Supreme Court in the course of trying lawsuits has been implemented;
(c) On a complaint alleging that any person held in custody has not been treated humanely subject to this Constitution or such person has not been allowed to meet his or her relative in person or through his or her legal practitioner, or on receipt of information of such matter, to inquire there into and give necessary directive to the concerned authority to prevent such act.
In addition to the functions, duties and powers mentioned in this Article, other functions, duties and powers of the Attorney General shall be as determined by this Constitution and other laws.
In the course of discharging the duties of his or, her office, the Attorney General shall have the right to appear in any Court, office and authority of Nepal.
The Attorney General may delegate his or her functions, duties and powers under this Article to his or her subordinates as to be exercised and complied with subject to the specified conditions.
136. Annual report:
The Attorney General shall, every year, submit to the President88 an annual report on the works which he or she has performed pursuant to this Constitution and other laws; and the President89 shall arrange to submit such report to the Legislature-Parliament through the Prime Minister.
The annual report to be submitted pursuant to Clause (1) shall set out, inter alia, the number of advices and opinions on constitutional and legal matters rendered by him or her throughout the year, details of instituted governmental cases, details of defense made in lawsuits in which the Government of Nepal is a plaintiff or defendant, details relating to crimes and details of reforms to be made in the future in relation to cases to be instituted as governmental cases.
137. Right to appear in Legislature-Parliament:
The Attorney General shall have the right to appear and express his or her opinion on any legal question in any meeting of the Legislature-Parliament, the Constituent Assembly or any of their committees.
Provided that, he or she shall not have the right to vote
Appointment of Public Prosecutors/Government Attorneys
There are total 242 Public Prosecutors/Government Attorneys in different status working throughout the country. Under the broad Judicial Service Category of Employees, a sub-group of Government Attorneys has been classified under Judicial Service. Fresh law graduates can sit for the competitive examination conducted by Public Service Commission every year. On the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, the Government appoints the successful candidates for the post of Assistant District Government Attorneys (Gazated Third-Class). The post of Public Prosecutor/Government Attorney is a cadre-based job in the Judicial Service. The cadre is promoted on the basis of file promotion after a certain time he/she spent in the same post. There are four categories of cadre based Public Prosecutor/Government Attorney under Attorney General. As:
Deputy Attorney General, (Secretary Level, Special Class)
Joint Government Attorneys, (Gazated First-Class)
Deputy Government Attorneys/District Government Attorneys, (Gazated Second-Class)
Assistant District Government Attorneys, (Gazated Third-Class)
After their appointment, they come under the purview of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for their posting, transfer and promotion within the organization. JSC is a high level constitutional body headed by Chief Justice, Chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Attorney General as its member. Thus except the Attorney General all other Public Prosecutors/Government Attorneys including the four Deputy Attorneys General are career civil servants. During their service career, they require to undergo Pre-service and In-service training.
Article 134 sub-article (2) of the Interium Constitution of Nepal 2063 describes about the procedure for the appointment of Attorney General of Nepal.
Article 134 sub-article (2) of the Interium Constitution of Nepal: Part 10 of the Interium Constitution of Nepal describes about Judiciary. Article 103 of the same part of the Constitution spells about the procedure for appointment, qualification and conditions for service of the Chief Justice and other Justice of the Supreme Court. The person who has worked at least three years, as a Supreme Court Justice and still working is eligible to be appointed as Chief Justice of Nepal. Similarly the person who has worked at least seven years as Appellate Court Justice or worked in a similar status in the Judicial Service or worked at least fifteen years as a graduate advocate or Senior Advocate or has twelve years work experience in the field of Justice and law as a reputed jurist is eligible for Supreme Court Justice.
Article 114 of the Interium Constitution of Nepal has made provisions for Judicial Service Commission for the purpose of appointment, transfer, promotion and any department actions to the employee of Judicial Service.
जानकारी महान्यायाधिवक्ताको कार्यालय र मातहतका सरकारी वकील कार्यालयहरुले संविधान र कानून बमोजिम सम्पादन गर्ने काम कारवाहीका सम्बन्धमा कुनै सल्लाह, सुझाव, जिज्ञासा वा गुनासा भए महान्यायाधिवक्ताको कार्यालयको टोल फ्रि टेलिफोन नं. १६६०-०१-८८९९९ मा सम्पर्क गर्नु हुन अनुरोध छ ।
Attorney General Appointed Right Honourable President of Nepal Dr. Ram Baran Yadhav, on the recommendation of the Chairman of the Interim Election Government, has appointed Drona Raj Regmi as the Attorney General of Nepal, pursuant to Article 134 (1) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007 on March 24, 2013. In the presence of Right Honourable President Dr. Ram Baran Yadhav, Right Honourable Acting Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed Attorney General Drona Raj Regmi amidst a function held at Rastrapati Bhawan, Sheetal Niwas on March 25, 2013. Regmi was the former Deputy Attorney General of the Office of the Attorney General. The newly appointed Attorney General assumed his office on Monday, March 25, 2013.