Kottayan Katankot Venugopal (born 1931), known generally as K. K. Venugopal (personal name is Venugopal) is an eminent Indian constitutional lawyer and a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India.[1] On 30 June, 2017, he was appointed as the Attorney General of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.[2]

Early and personal life

Venugopal was born in Kanhangad, a town in the erstwhile South Canara district of madras presidency of British India (present-day Kerala, India), and grew up in Mangalore. Venugopal did his B.Sc in Physics from the prestigious Madras Christian College at Tambaram, Chennai and law from Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum, Karnataka. His father, M. K. Nambiar, was a barrister. Venugopal studied at St. Aloysius College in Mangalore. He had a traditional arranged marriage and is the father of three children: 1 daughter and 2 sons.


Venugopal served as President of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA - International Association of Lawyers) from 1996 to 1997.

Venugopal has appeared in many high-profile cases. Most significantly, he was appointed by the Royal Government of Bhutan to serve as the Constitutional adviser for drafting of the Constitution of Bhutan.[3][4] On 30 June, 2017, he was appointed as the Attorney General of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 86-year-old succeeds Mukul Rohatgi, who stepped down after the first term. Venugopal held the office of Additional Solicitor General in Morarji Desai’s Government. He has appeared in a variety of cases in the last 50 years. Venugopal was appointed as amicuscuriae to assist the Supreme Court in the high profile 2G spectrum case.

He also appeared for BJP leader L K Advani in the Demolition of the Babri Masjid case, in which the apex court recently clubbed the two trials and held that BJP leaders, including Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi, will have to face trial along with karsevaks for demolition of the disputed structure.


In 2015, he was conferred Padma Vibhushan award by Government of India. This is the second-highest civilian honour in India. He had previously received the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour.[5]

Opinion on judicial reforms

Mr. Venugopal is one of the main advocates for Judicial reforms in India. He is against the creation of regional benches of the Supreme Court of India. Instead, he recommends that Courts of Appeal be established in the four regions of the country, who finally decide on appeals from the High Court judgments in all cases other than cases of national importance which affect the whole country, disputes between States or between States and the Centre, Presidential references and substantial questions of law relating to interpretation of the Constitution. This will relieve the burden on Supreme Court.[6]