|Minister of Law and Justice|
28 October 2012 – 10 May 2013
|Prime Minister||Manmohan Singh|
|Preceded by||Salman Khurshid|
|Succeeded by||Kapil Sibal|
26 October 1952 |
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Spouse(s)||Madhu Kumar (1975–2012)|
|Alma mater||University of Delhi|
Ashwani Kumar held key ministerial portfolios in the UPA government, including Ministry of Law and Justice; Parliamentary Affairs; Science and Technology and Ministry of Planning. In 1991, at the age of 37 he was appointed one of the youngest Additional Solicitor General of India. He represents the Indian National Congress party from Punjab in the Rajya Sabha and has served as its National Spokesperson and Chairman for Vichar Vibhag. Kumar has argued important cases before the Supreme Court including the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case and has also represented major corporations in international arbitrations. He was also nominated as member of the Standing Committee of Parliament on Defence in August 2013.
Early life and education
Born in Delhi on 26 October 1952, Ashwani Kumar graduated from St.Stephen’s College, Delhi. Thereafter, he pursued law, earning bachelor degree in law (LLB) from Faculty of Law, Delhi University, and Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. In 2004, Kumar earned a doctorate in Law from Punjab University. At the age of 34, the Supreme Court of India appointed him as a Senior Counsel, making him one of the youngest advocates in India to be conferred by the highest court.
He married Smt.Madhu Kumar on 30 November 1975 and has a daughter and a son.
Kumar was the Minister of Law and Justice from 28 October 2012 to 11 May 2013. From 19 January 2011 to 11 May 2013, he was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Planning; Ministry of Science and Technology; and Ministry of Earth Sciences. He was also the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs from January to July 2011. Kumar was appointed as Member of Standing Committee on External Affairs in 2009. Since 2002, he has been Member of the Rajya Sabha.
Key positions held
In February 2014, Kumar was appointed as a Member of the National Literacy Mission. He was a Member of the Indian Ministerial delegation for the 3rd Indo-US Strategic Dialogue and the 1st Indo-Japan Economic Dialogue held in New Delhi. In August 2013, Kumar was elected as a Congress Party member of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. He also served as the Chairman of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha for “The Prevention of Torture Bill”, 2010. Kumar was the Founder President of the Indo-French Parliamentary Friendship Group constituted by the Speaker of Lok Sabha in 2003. In addition, Kumar has also been a Member of the Standing Committee of Parliament on External Affairs; the Empowered Sub-Committee of the High Level Committee on Manufacturing and the Standing Committee on Commerce.
In October 2013, Kumar was nominated to represent India at the United Nations General Assembly Session in New York. He also represented India at the Summer Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions (2011) in Dalian, People’s Republic of China. Kumar was appointed as the Accompanying Minister to the President of India Smt.Pratibha Devisingh Patil on her State Visit to Spain and Poland in April 2009. Between 2006-2009 he was nominated as Accompanying Minister to The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe; The Prime Minster of UK, Gordon Brown; King Albert II of Belgium; and President of Kazakhastan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. In his official capacity Kumar has engaged with global leaders including President Simon Perez of Israel, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and President Sarkozy of France.
In July 2013, he was invited as a speaker at the Aix Le Cercle des economists in Aix-en-Provence, France. In 2012 Kumar was the Keynote Speaker at the Harvard Club, New York on “The Legal Architecture for consolidating the economic reform process in India” and was also a guest lecturer at MIT. In 2011 he was invited as the Keynote Speaker at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Science and Technology Forum (STS) at Kyoto, Japan. Kumar was a guest speaker at The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2008. He was a visiting scholar at CSIS, Washington in 2004. In addition to writing a number of scholarly articles on law; economic reforms; elections; democracy and international affairs Kumar has also authored a book titled Law,Ideas and Ideology in Politics; Perspectives of an Activist in 2003.
Coalgate draft report controversy
The CBI Director, Ranjit Sinha, in April 2013, on the behest of the Honorable Supreme Court of India, submitted an affidavit on the draft investigative report on the Indian coal allocation scam, vetted by Ashwani Kumar prior to submission at the court.  The opposition claimed this event undermined the autonomy of the CBI and demanded Kumar’s resignation. Kumar resigned from the cabinet on 10 May 2013. While announcing his resignation Kumar stated that he was resigning only to ensure that the functioning of Parliament is not stalled and added that the Honorable Supreme Court had not made any adverse comments against him.
In August 2013, Kumar was elected as a Congress Party member of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. In November he was appointed as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Japan in connection with the arrangements for the visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan and Prime Minster Abe to India. He was also nominated as member of the Standing Committee of Parliament on Defense in August 2013. Kumar addressed a session of the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Security Council in October 2013 as member of the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to United Nations General Assembly.
- "Coal-Gate: Affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by CBI Director". The Indian Express. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- "I Have Done No Wrong: Law Min on Coalgate Report". Outlook Magazine. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- NDTV (2013-05-10). "Pawan Bansal, Ashwani Kumar resign as Union ministers". NDTV. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- NDTV (2013-05-11). "Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar speaks to the media: Highights". NDTV. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
|Minister of Law and Justice