'24x7 & 365 Days': CJI DY Chandrachud Shares Insights From Late Wife's Legal Career, Advocates For Improved Work Hours

'24x7 & 365 Days': CJI DY Chandrachud Shares Insights From Late Wife's Legal Career, Advocates For Improved Work Hours

"My late former wife who was a lawyer, when she went to a law firm, she asked what would be the working hours and she was told it is 24x7 and 365 days," CJI Chandrachud said.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, August 26, 2023, 09:41 PM IST
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Chief Justice of India (CJI), DY Chandrachud, on Saturday advocated for improved working hours and a healthier work-life balance within law offices and lawyers' chambers. The CJI shared the story of his deceased former wife, who was also a lawyer, as an example, Bar & Bench reported.

CJI tells late former wife's story

"My late former wife who was a lawyer, when she went to a law firm, she asked what would be the working hours and she was told it is 24x7 and 365 days," CJI Chandrachud said.

Additionally, the CJI mentioned that she was informed that there wouldn't be any time for her to spend with her family.

"When she asked what about ones with family, she was told find a husband who can do household chores and there is no family time," CJI Chandrachud narrated.

However, he noted that the situation is evolving at present.

These remarks were made by the CJI during the 31st annual convocation of the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru.

CJI narrates allowing WFH for menstruating staff

During his speech, the CJI also mentioned that he permits his female law clerks to work remotely when they encounter health challenges related to menstruation.

"Last year, four law clerks out of five were women. It is common for them to call me up and say that, 'Sir I have menstrual cramps'. I tell them, 'please work from home and take care of your health'. We have also provided sanitary napkins dispensers in the female washrooms in the Supreme Court of India," the CJI said.

CJI Chandrachud also shared a piece of advice with the graduating students.

"If being a good person and good lawyers comes at a juncture, I urge you to be a good person. If the cost of being successful is that we have to act against conscience or be indifferent in the face of injustice, know that the cost is too high," he said.

CJI continues to bat for work-life balance

The CJI has consistently emphasised the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

In January of this year, he expressed that individuals within the legal profession should refrain from romanticising burnout.

He lamented the tendency within the legal profession to take pride in the excessive hours devoted to their work, which consequently contributes to mental health challenges.

"One cause is the adversarial tenure. People take pride in it which makes it stressful. Long nights, overworked, financial worries ... Mental health can improve performance in long run. We have developed a system which awards excellence at the cost of everything else," CJI Chandrachud said.

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