New Delhi: To work as a judge for seven to eight years in the Supreme Court is "killing", Justice J S Khehar Tuesday said while speaking about the work pressure which leads to a "burnt out situation".
"It is a burnt out situation. It is very tough to sustain. The stakes are high. The pressure is tremendous. Aggressions are high. I have spent years here. Seven to eight years in the the Supreme Court is killing," said Justice Khehar, who has been the judge of the apex court since September 13, 2011 and is scheduled to retire as the Chief Justice of India on August 27, 2017.
His remarks came after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi suggested that if the best of the talents are away from being tapped for appointment of judges, it may be appropriate to look at people who are aged around 40 to 42 years of age.
Justice Khehar responded to the suggestion saying that it is a fact that 20 years will be too tough for a person to be a judge and "they have to stop somewhere".
The two-hours of hearing on the issue of evolving mechanism to improve the collegium system of appointment of judges, in a jam-packed courtroom also witnessed a drama with Mumbai-based advocate Mathews J Nedumpara criticising the constitution bench for not letting him speak.
"Only few lawyers are representing everybody. This court has no jurisdiction to quash the NJAC. Your lordships have to be fair. The lordships have been very cruel to me in not allowing me to address the court," he said.
To this the bench said, "Don't take it too far. We have heard you. You wanted to come in press, you are done. We will have you removed from the court if you don't stop."
Nedumpara had filed a review petition against the October 16 verdict that the judgement had created a public perception that there was "a deceptive/clever attempt on the part of the Supreme Court to retain the power of appointing judges, which they have been enjoying for the last more than 22 years".
He also alleged that the AG was not making proper arguments during the NJAC hearing.
On senior advocate Mahalakshmi Pavani's plea for giving due representation to women in selection of judges, the bench said, "You can't imagine how wrong you are, we are always looking for a woman judge."
The bench, however, said since she was ready with the table to make out her case, she should also be in a position to tell about the male-female advocate ratio.