Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar resigns

Rumours have been floated of his name being considered for direct elevation as Supreme Court judge.

Within months after the Centre gave him an extension, Solicitor-General of India Ranjit Kumar, the second highest ranking law officer of the government, resigned with immediate effect a day after Diwali on Friday.

Mr. Kumar, a successful senior advocate who joined the government’s team of law officers in the Supreme Court in 2014, cited personal reasons and family commitments for his decision to opt out. His tenure of three years as Solicitor General had ended on June 6, 2017, but the government had extended the tenure on an ad hoc basis.

Mr. Kumar’s office confirmed the submission of the resignation letter, saying the communication to the government was short, mainly highlighting personal and health concerns.

Government sources confirmed the receipt of the resignation letter by the Law Department.

A decision will be taken after Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad returns after a break.

However, sources said, considering the language of the letter, which clearly reveals that Mr. Kumar had made up his mind to quit, the government is not left with much option but to accept the resignation.

Mr. Kumar’s decision follows shortly after Mukul Rohatgi quit as Attorney-General of India in June 2017 and returned to private practice.

Rumours on elevation

In Mr. Kumar’s case, rumours have been floated of his name being considered for direct elevation as Supreme Court judge.

If that had been the case, he would have followed Justice N. Santosh Hegde’s footsteps from being Solicitor General to judge of the Supreme Court. Lawyers however said there was no need for a law officer to resign if his name is being considered for judgeship. The Supreme Court Collegium is expected to meet on October 24.

Cauvery issue

As Solicitor General, Mr. Kumar had appeared for the Centre in the Cauvery river water sharing litigation in which he argued that the government, and not the Supreme Court, should take the final decision on the water-sharing scheme to be framed on the basis of the Cauvery Tribunal’s award.

Other cases

Mr. Kumar also represented the Centre in a case filed against the use of pellet guns against protestors in Jammu and Kashmir. He also took the initiative to frame school safety guidelines for students while representing the Centre in the Pradyuman Thakur murder case.

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