Senior counsel R. Shunmugasundaram took charge as the Advocate-General of Tamil Nadu on Sunday. A Government Order issued on Saturday said the Governor had accepted the government’s proposal to appoint him as the Advocate-General.
He is expected to represent the State government before the First Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on Monday at the hearing of a public interest litigation petition, taken up by the court suo motu, to monitor the measures being taken by the government to fight the second wave of COVID-19.
Mr. Shunmugasundaram has an experience of 44 years in the Bar and has been a designated senior counsel for the past 20 years. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 2002 to 2008 and the State Public Prosecutor from 1996 to 2001.
After completing his law degree and enrolling with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in 1977, he joined the office of the famous criminal lawyer N. Natarajan and gained experience under him till 1980. He was appointed as an Additional Public Prosecutor in 1989 and conducted prosecutions on behalf of the State, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Railways at the Madras High Court.
In 1992, he studied the developments in criminal law in Britain and attended court works at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales (Old Bailey, Central London), Croydon Crown Court and the Royal Courts of Justice, London. He also gained work experience at the Crown Prosecution Department at Manchester, studied the investigation procedures adopted over there and observed the system of legal aid and probation procedures in Great Britain.
He was appointed as counsel for the State of Tamil Nadu before the Justice M.C. Jain Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The Madras High Court appointed him as an amicus curiae in the London hotel case against former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, considering the public importance and sensitive nature of the case. Then, he pursued the Letters Rogatory issued by a special court in Chennai and worked with the Serious Fraud Office in London and the Attorney-General’s Criminal Division at Canberra, Australia, for collecting evidence from the U.K., Malaysia and Australia. During his tenure as an MP, he was part of the Indian delegation to the United Nations and participated in its 59th General Assembly in October 2004.