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Oldest high court in India

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chit Chat' started by Tipu, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Tipu

    Tipu New Member

    I need to get some information for my studies about the Indian courts, and I would like to know which is the oldest high court in India and where it is located.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Tipu, welcome to the forum!

    Oldest-High-Court-in-india.

    Overview

    The High Court is the second highest judiciary power after the Supreme Court in India. The functions of the High Court range from hearing over original cases, to hearing over appellate cases and deciding for the fate upon these cases. The High Court also has power over lower courts like Civil Courts, Family Courts and District Courts, as long as they fall within its jurisdiction. In total, there are 24 High Courts in India, each of which has jurisdiction over one state, a combination of states or a combination of state and union territory. Below, we would showcase the oldest High Courts in India, discussing the year they were established and also some important facts about them.

    Oldest High Courts in India

    So first of all, under the Indian High Courts Act of 1861, four High Courts were established in India under the reign of Queen Victoria during the colonial rule. These High Courts are the first four ones mentioned in the list below. They are also the oldest High Courts in the country, which preceded all other High Courts established thereafter. A High Court usually has a main seat of office, known as the Principal Seat, and sometimes, an extension office, known as the Circuit Bench.

    1. Calcutta High Court - The Calcutta High Court was established in July 1, 1862 under the Indian High Courts Act of 1861. It is, therefore, the oldest High Court in the country. Before the establishment of the Calcutta High Court, the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William already existed. This Supreme Court was abolished to give way to the creation of the then known, High Court of Judicature at Fort William, or simply, Calcutta High Court. The first ever Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court was Barnes Peacock while the first Indian Chief Justice was Romesh Chandra Mitter. The Calcutta High Court has jurisdiction over West Bengal and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Principal Seat is located at Esplanade Row West in Kolkata while the Circuit Bench is located at Port Blair in Andaman. The design of the High Court bears some resemblance to the Ypres Cloth Hall in Belgium. The architectural style is largely Gothic and the facade is a combination of red and white. A newer building can also be found just next to the original building. In the year 2014, Chief Justice Manjula Chellur was appointed as the head of the Calcutta High Court. She was the first ever female to head the institution. As of now, the present Nishita Normal Mhatre has taken office as the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, which is another female.
    • Year Established - 1862
    • Present Chief Justice - Nishita Normal Mhatre
    2. Bombay High Court - The second oldest High Court in India is located in Mumbai, known as the Bombay High Court. It was established a bit later, on August 14, 1862, by the British Crown as well, under the reign of Queen Victoria. The first ever Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court was Matthew Richard Sausse while the first Indian Chief Justice was Mahommedali Currim Chagla. This High Court has jurisdiction over the states of Maharashtra and Goa, as well as the union territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. The Principal Seat is located in Doctor Kane Road in Mumbai while the Circuit Benches are located in Nagpur, Aurangabad and Panaji. The architectural design of the Bombay High Court is also Gothic, but the facade is more of a brownish grey. In history, the Bombay High Court is the place where the great freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was tried. Other famous personalities tried in the Bombay High Court were Mahatma Gandhi and Malhar Rao Gaekwad. The Bombay High Court is also known for the number of Chief Justices promoted from here to the Supreme Court of India. As of 2016, the present Chief Justice is Manjula Chellur, which was mentioned above as well.
    • Year Established - 1862
    • Present Chief Justice - Manjula Chellur
    3. Chennai High Court - Just a day after the inauguration of the Bombay High Court, the Chennai High Court, then known as Madras High Court, was established. It is the third oldest High Court in India, also created under the reign of Queen Victoria, managed then by the British Crown. The first ever Chief Justice of the Chennai High Court was Colley Harman Scotland, which also served in the previous Supreme Court of Madras. On the other hand, the first ever Indian Chief Justice to serve here was Pakala Venkataramana Rao Rajamannar. The Chennai High Court has jurisdiction for the whole state of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Pondicherry. Aside from the Principal Seat in Chennai, it has a Circuit Bench in Madurai as well. When it comes to the architectural design of the building, it is mainly Indo-Gothic. The style combines a mixture of Hindu, Islamic and also Gothic designs. The Chennai High Court made history when a Brahmin female named Champakam Dorairajan appealed for her case with regards to admission to a state medical school in Madras. Because of the Communal Government Order back then, only a limited number of slots were allotted to Brahmins who wanted to pursue a career in medicine or engineering. The rest, as they say, is history, as the Communal Government Order was abolished and the first ever Constitutional Amendment in the Indian Constitution. More recently, a paternity claim was made by a couple, claiming actor Venkatesh Prabhu, also known as Dhanush, was their son. This case was also tried in the Chennai High Court. As of now, the present Chief Justice is Indira Banerjee.
    • Year Established - 1862
    • Present Chief Justice - Indira Banerjee
    4. Allahabad High Court - The Allahabad High Court was established in June 11, 1866, also under the Indian High Courts Act of 1861. Initially, the High Court was located in Agra and it was only in 1869 that it was transferred to Allahabad. Walter Morgan was the first ever Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. In 1932, the first ever Indian Chief Justice to hold its position in the High Court was Shah Muhammad Sulaiman. The Allahabad High Court holds jurisdiction over the state of Uttar Pradesh. It has the Principal Seat in Allahabad and a Circuit Bench in Lucknow. When it comes to the architectural style of the Allahabad High Court, it is more of the Indian, with arched entrances, lattice works and just a simple sandy facade. The most famous cases tried in the Allahabad High Court are the Meerut Conspiracy Case and the Raj Narain Case Versus Indira Gandhi. More recently, the Allahabad High Court ruled that all government officials of Uttar Pradesh must send their children to government schools. In a way, this ruling is supposed to help uplift the conditions of the government schools of the state, since the parents would be obliged to donate some money, that can help to develop the infrastructures in the institution.
    • Year Established - 1866
    • Present Chief Justice - Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale
    5. Karnataka High Court - Next is the Karnataka High Court, established in the year 1884. The Karnataka High Court was officially inaugurated though in just 1973. The first Chief Justice to preside over the institution was R. Venkataramaiah and today, Subhro Kamal Mukherjee is the present highest leader. The Karnataka High Court holds jurisdiction over Karnataka and has its Principal Seat in Bangalore. There are also Circuit Benches in Dharwad and Gulbarga. The Karnataka High Court is housed in the Attara Kacheri, a bright red building built in the Graeco-Roman style of architecture. The main highlights of the building are its columns and arches, reminiscent of the ancient Roman architectural style. The High Court was made infamous due to the Jayalalithaa Assets Case, when the judges acquitted the defendants from the charges. The Karnataka High Court also handled the case of the Murder of Shakereh Khaleeli, who was drugged and placed into a coffin by her very own husband. The husband, Akbar Khaleeli, was sentenced to death but the Supreme Court changed the ruling into a lifetime prison sentence.
    • Year Established - 1884
    • Present Chief Justice - Subhro Kamal Mukherjee
    6. Patna High Court - The Patna High Court was established on March 22, 1912 but was formally inaugurated just in 1916. The first Chief Justice was Sir Edward Maynerd Des Champs Chamier while the present Chief Justice is Rajendra Menon. The Patna High Court holds jurisdiction over the state of Bihar. The Principal Seat is in Patna and there are no Circuit Benches. The Patna High Court has a bright yellow and red facade, with a dome on top that features a flag of the country. The Patna High Court tried for some of the individuals involved in the Fodder Case, which is a corruption scam scandal involving Bihar officials like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra. Just last year, the Patna High Court imposed a ban on Indian Made Foreign Liquor in the state, in all aspects of manufacture, sale and also consumption of it.
    • Year Established - 1916
    • Present Chief Justice - Rajendra Menon
    7. Jammu and Kashmir High Court - Next is the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, established in 1928 in both Srinagar and Jammu. The first Chief Justice was Kanwar Sain while the present Chief Justice is N. Paul Vasanthakumar. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court holds jurisdiction over the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The office changes depending on the season, when it's summer, it's at Srinagar and when it's winter, it's at Jammu. The different offices has different facades, the one at Srinagar has this greyish hue while the one at Jammu has this reddish hue. The most recent case that shook the nation is that of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat, a famed faith healer in Kashmir. This case was tried in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
    • Year Established - 1928
    • Present Chief Justice - N. Paul Vasanthakumar
    8. Madhya Pradesh High Court - The Madhya Pradesh High Court is located in Jabalpur in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Initially though, it was established in 1936 as the Nagpur High Court, lead by Chief Justice Gilbert Stone. It was only in 1956 that the High Court was renamed and transferred to Jabalpur. The first Indian Chief Justice was Mohammad Hidayatullah, which would later become a Chief Justice of India and even the Vice President of India. The Principal Seat is at Jabalpur while the Circuit Benches are in Indore and Gwalior. The building has an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, with a bluish facade and arched entrances. In 2011, the Madhya Pradesh High Court upheld the death penalty ruling of the Jabalpur Trial Court against a man named Tattu Lodhi. This man attempted to rape a young girl aged seven and murdered the innocent child. The Supreme Court ruled against the case and sentenced the man to 25 years of imprisonment.
    • Year Established - 1936
    • Present Chief Justice - Hemant Gupta
    9. Punjab and Haryana High Court - The Punjab and Haryana High Court was established in 1947 in Chandigarh. Originally though, it was known as the Lahore High Court and had jurisdiction over Delhi and Punjab. Over the years, it was renamed the Punjab and Haryana High Court, having its jurisdiction over the states of Haryana and Punjab, as well as the union territory of Chandigarh. The first Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was Ram Lall and presently, Shiavax Jal Vazifdar is the leader of the institution. Since the High Court is fairly newer, it has a more modern facade. It has just a simple stone facade, set upon a vast expanse of land and just behind it is a small lake. The Punjab and Haryana Court was involved in the gruesome Manoj Babli Honour Killing Case. As the story goes, Manoj Banwala and Babli were both part of the Gotra clan, which hinders co-clan members to be married as they are all considered as siblings, though they aren't directly connected by DNA. The couple proceeded with the marriage and so members of the family of Babli took them and killed them. The suspects and accused were directed to a death penalty but the Punjab and Haryana Court judges ruled over with a lifetime death penalty.
    • Year Established - 1947
    • Present Chief Justice - Shiavax Jal Vazifdar
    10. Gauhati High Court - Last on the list is the Gauhati High Court, located in Guwahati in Assam, established in 1948. Initially, the High Court was located in Shillong in Meghalaya but was transferred to Assam. The first Chief Justice was RF Lodge and presently, the presiding Chief Justice is Ajit Singh. The Gauhati High Court holds jurisdiction over the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. It has the Principal Seat in Guwahati but there are Circuit Benches in Aizawl, Kohima and Itanagar as well. The High Court has a simple white facade and a huge dome on top. Perhaps the most shocking case handled by the Gauhati High Court is the Thangjam Manorama Case. However, since the woman hailed from Manipur, the Gauhati High Court reiterated that it doesn't hold any jurisdiction over the case. In 2011 though, the Gauhati High Court allowed the Manipur State Government to act upon the murder case for further development.
    • Year Established - 1948
    • Present Chief Justice - Ajit Singh
    Conclusion

    The oldest High Court in India is the Calcutta High Court, established in 1862. However, in the same year, both the Bombay High Court and Chennai High Court were also established although in a later month. The Allahabad High Court was established a few years later, in 1866. All of these courts were established under the Indian High Courts Act of 1861. These courts can be considered as the four oldest High Courts of India.

    I hope this helps you!:)
     

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