New Delhi: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is tipped to take over as Modi Government's highest legal officer -- as the Attorney General of India. If that happens, he will succeed KK Venugopal (89) who retires on June 30 on completion of his 3-year term.
Even as the second in command, Mehta was fielded in sensitive cases instead of Venugopal, as he enjoys the trust of Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. In fact, he was picked up in every important matter, be it against P Chidambaram, the Rohingyas’ deportation and cases involving constitutional points of law.
Mehta is expected to appear for the government in other politically sensitive matters like abrogation of Article 370 and the controversial citizenship amendment Act cases which have been kept on the back burner by the Supreme Court since March in view of the coronavirus spread.
Mehta had courted a controversy last week by calling journalists and civil right activists championing the cause of migrant labourers as "vultures" in the Supreme Court; further, he went on to call all those writing against the government on social media as "prophets of doom who only spread negativity, negativity and negativity."
Unlike his predecessors like Soli Sorabjee, Rohinton Nariman, Harish Salve, Mohan Parasaran and Gopal Subramanian, Mehta was never a big name in the legal fraternity, certainly not in Delhi, as he did not have any impressive list of clients outside his government practice in Gujarat. The only highprofile client he had was Home Minister Amit Shah, which brought about his elevation and relocation to Centre. He came close to Amit Shah in 1999 in a court fight between groups affiliated to the Congress and the BJP, trying to wrest control of the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank. Shah emerged victorious in the battle to become the bank's.