The Narendra Modi government is said to have appointed Ranjit Kumar as the solicitor general – the second highest law officer of the country after the attorney general – but the senior apex court lawyer Thursday said that he was awaiting the official notification.
Ranjit Kumar’s name is said to have been been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC) June 4, according to informed sources.
Like his senior colleague, now Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Ranjit Kumar represented the Gujarat government in a number of cases that included the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shoot out and others.
Lately, he appeared in the ‘Snoopgate’ case in which Modi, then the Gujarat chief minister, was sought to be targeted.
Ranjit Kumar will succeed Mohana Parasaran who had resigned in the wake of UPA II going out of office. The office of solicitor general saw some turbulent moments during the tenure of UPA II.
Among Parasaran’s predecessors, Gopal Subramanium July 14, 2011, had resigned in the wake of a controversy over the then communications minister Kapil Sibal opting for senior counsel Rohinton Nariman to represent him in the apex court in a case where a probe was sought against him for allegedly favouring a telecom operator.
Nariman, who succeeded Subramanium, July 23, 2011 resigned in February 2013 following differences with the then law minister Ashwani Kumar.
Besides Ranjit Kumar, it is learnt, the ACC also cleared the appointment of Maninder Singh, L Nageshwar Rao, Tushar Mehta, P.S. Patwalia and Neeraj Kishen Kaul as additional solicitors general (ASG).
Nageshwar Rao was also ASG during the tenure of UPA II, while Mehta – currently Gujarat’s Additional Advocate General – has represented the state government before the apex court in several cases.