Administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Justice Dattu will hold office till Dec 2, 2015. He succeeds Chief Justice R.M. Lodha who demitted office Sep 27.
Talking to reporters later, he said the judges in the apex court sit there as a “common man”. “I will sit as a common man on the bench,” he said.
“The judges sit in the court as a common man because they know how a common man feels when we say no to him,” he told reporters at an informal interaction at his residence.
“We are responsible judges and we know we are sitting in the final court of appeal of the country and all the matters that come before us are serious (for those who approach the court),” he said.
“People come to the top court with high expectations,” he said.
Saying that judges have to be more responsible, Chief Justice Dattu said whatever may be the case or its nature, it is serious for the one who is pursuing it and thus the judges have to be more responsible.
He also said that 16 hours of work every day causes a lot of stress and for him, Carnatic music with south Indian coffee is a real stress buster.
The oath ceremony, that was held in Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan, was attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, outgoing Chief Justice Lodha and former CJI A.S. Anand as well as other seated and retired judges.
Before being elevated as the judge of the apex court Dec 17, 2008, Chief Justice Dattu was chief justice of Kerala High Court.
He was appointed a judge of the Karnataka High Court Dec 18, 1995. Thereafter, he was elevated as chief justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Feb 12, 2007. Three months later May 18, 2007, he was transferred to head the Kerala High Court.
Born Dec 3, 1950, Chief Justice Dattu was enrolled as an advocate Oct 23, 1975. He practised at Bangalore in civil, criminal, constitutional and taxation matters.
He appeared as government counsel in the Karnataka High Court for the sales tax department from 1983 to 1990, government advocate from 1990 to 1993, standing counsel for the income tax department from 1992 to 1993 and a senior standing counsel for the IT department from 1993 to 1995.