He practiced mainly in the area of Constitutional Taxation and Commercial Laws, apart from the other civil matters. He was Standing Counsel for the Income Tax Department. He was also the Government Advocate Pleader for the Government of Karnataka. He was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Karnataka High Court in February 1988. He was elevated to the Supreme Court of India in 1997. He became Chief Justice of India in 2004. He was the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission between 2007 and 2009. Subsequently he was appointed as the Chairperson NHRC. He was conferred with LL.D.(Honoris Causa) by his alma mater, Karnataka University, in 2006.