Punjab govt notifies appointment of Vinod Ghai as advocate general
Ghai would be the fifth lawyer to be appointed as Punjab AG in the past 10 months; opposition to his appointment as he defended dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in sacrilege cases
The Punjab government on Saturday notified criminal lawyer Vinod Ghai’s appointment as the state’s new advocate general (AG).
The government had announced his appointment on July 26, soon after incumbent AG Anmol Rattan Sidhu shared his resignation letter dated July 19 on social media.
Various Sikh organisations and political parties had criticised the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) decision to appoint Ghai, stating that he had defended Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in sacrilege cases before the court. Hence, the appointment should not be made. The delay in notification was also being attributed to this reason.
However, chief minister Bhagwant Mann on July 28 dismissed the speculation over the delay and said that Ghai would take over soon.
The son of noted criminal lawyer, late RS Ghai, 62-year-old Vinod Ghai is considered one of the top criminal lawyers at the Bar. He was appointed senior advocate in 2012.
Ghai would be the fifth lawyer to be appointed as AG in the past 10 months. Then AG Atul Nanda resigned in September 2021 after the ouster of Capt Amarinder Singh as Punjab chief minister. In quick succession, the Charanjit Singh Channi government appointed APS Deol and then DS Patwalia, who resigned after the Congress lost to the AAP in the February assembly elections.
Anmol Rattan Sidhu was appointed by the AAP in March after it took over the reins in Punjab. He submitted his resignation on July 19 reportedly over differences with the government on various issues, mainly related to the appointment of law officers. However, Sidhu has been maintaining that he resigned due to “personal reasons”.