Justice H L Dattu, who was today sworn in as the new Chief Justice of India (CJI), said that he will sit as a "common man" on the Bench and assured citizens that there is no class difference in handling of cases.
"I will sit as a common man on the Bench," was how the 42nd CJI described his job as the head of the Judiciary.
63-year-old Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu,the senior-most Supreme Court judge, was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
He said the judges of the top court are also common people and they know that their job is very responsible as every matter before them is a "serious case" for citizens.
"At the end of the day it is the last and final court of the country. Whether it is a judge or the people we give lot of attention as we know how much citizens pay attention," the CJI, who will have a tenure of 14 months and will retire on December 2, 2015, said during an informal interaction this evening at his residence with legal reporters.
Justice Dattu said work load in the apex court has been on the rise."Be it a bail matter or that of an immoveable property or else we have to be more responsible," he said.
Justice Dattu, who is handling the case relating to a plea for keeping CBI Director Ranjit Sinha away from the 2G spectrum scam probe, for his alleged nexus with high- profile accused, said "this is a court which makes no distinction between common man and others".
As CJI, Justice Dattu, who will be heading a bench dealing with the issues arising out of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of new state of Telangana, said a judge of the apex court has to work for around 16 hours a day and for him the best stress buster is "carnatic music and usual dose of south Indian coffee".
Earlier in the day, at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan,Vice President Hamid Ansari, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, M Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar and BJP veteran L K Advani were among those present at the ceremony.
Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Rajeev Shulka were the only prominent opposition leaders who attended the programme.
Justice Lodha, who retired yesterday as the CJI, senior judges of the Supreme Court, High Court, retired judges and members of the Bar were also present