Calcutta High Court

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Calcutta High Court
Calcutta High Court.jpg
Calcutta High Court Building
Established 1 July 1862; 155 years ago (1862-07-01)
Country  India

Principal Seat: Kolkata, West Bengal

Circuit Benches: Jalpaiguri & Port Blair (A & N Islands)
Coordinates 22°34′6″N 88°20′36″E / 22.56833°N 88.34333°E / 22.56833; 88.34333Coordinates: 22°34′6″N 88°20′36″E / 22.56833°N 88.34333°E / 22.56833; 88.34333
Composition method Presidential with confirmation of Chief Justice of India and Governor of respective state.
Authorized by Constitution of India
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of India
Judge term length Till 62 years of age
No. of positions 58
Chief Justice
Currently Hon'ble Justice Rakesh Tiwari (Acting)
Since December 1, 2016

The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. It has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The High Court building's design is based on the Cloth Hall, Ypres, in Belgium.[1]

The court has a sanctioned judge strength of 72.


The Calcutta High Court is one of the three High Courts in India established at the Presidency Towns by Letters patent granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date June 26, 1862, and is the oldest High Court in India. It was established as the High Court of Judicature at Fort William on July 1, 1862 under the High Courts Act, 1861, which was preceded by the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William.

Despite the name of the city having officially changed from Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001, the Court, as an institution retained the old name. The bill to rename it as Kolkata High Court was approved by the Cabinet on July 5, 2016 alongside renaming of its two other counterparts in Chennai and Mumbai[2] However, the High Court still retains the old name.

Principal seat and benches

The seat of the Calcutta High Court is at Kolkata, capital of West Bengal. As per the Calcutta High Court (Extension of Jurisdiction) Act, 1953, the Calcutta High Court's jurisdiction was extended to cover Chandernagore (now called Chandannagar) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as of 2 May 1950. The Calcutta High Court extended its Circuit Bench in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and in Jalpaiguri, the divisional headquarters of the North Bengal region of West Bengal.

Chief Justice

The current acting Chief Justice is Justice Rakesh Tiwari.

Sir Barnes Peacock was the first Chief Justice of the High Court. He assumed the charge when the court was founded on 1 July 1862. Justice Romesh Chandra Mitter was the first Indian officiating Chief Justice and Justice Phani Bhushan Chakravartti was the first Indian permanent Chief Justice of the court. The longest serving Chief Justice was Justice Sankar Prasad Mitra.

On 20 September 1871, the acting Chief Justice, Sir John Paxton Norman, was murdered on the steps of the courthouse by Wahabi Muslims named Abdullah.[3][4]

List of Chief Justices

For Chief Justices of the previous Supreme Court of Bengal see Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William

Chief Justice Term
Hon'ble Sir Barnes Peacock 1862–1870
Hon'ble Sir Richard Couch 1870–1875
Hon'ble Sir Richard Garth 1875–1886
Hon'ble Sir William Comer Petheram 1886–1896
Hon'ble Sir Francis William Maclean 1896–1909
Hon'ble Sir George Claus Rankin 1926–1934
Hon'ble Sir Harold Derbyshire 1934–1946
Hon'ble Sir Arthur Trevor Harries 1946–1952
Hon'ble Justice Phani Bhusan Chakravartti (First Indian Chief Justice in Calcutta High Court) 1952–1958
Hon'ble Justice Kulada Charan Das Gupta 1958–1959
Hon'ble Justice Surajit Chandra Lahiri 1959–1961
Hon'ble Justice Himansu Kumar Bose 1961–1966
Hon'ble Justice Deep Narayan Sinha 1966–1970
Hon'ble Justice Prasanta Bihari Mukherjee 1970–1972
Hon'ble Justice Sankar Prasad Mitra 1972–1979
Hon'ble Justice Amarendra Nath Sen 1979–1981
Hon'ble Justice Sambhu Chandra Ghose 1981–1983
Hon'ble Justice Samarendra Chandra Deb January 1983 – February 1983
Hon'ble Justice Satish Chandra 1983–1986
Hon'ble Justice Anil Kumar Sen September 1986 – October 1986
Justice Chittatosh Mukherjee 1 November 1986 – 1 November 1987
Hon'ble Justice Debi Singh Tewatia 1 November 1987 – 1988
Hon'ble Justice Prabodh Dinkarrao Desai 1988–1991
Hon'ble Justice Nagendra Prasad Singh 4 February 1992 – 14 June 1992
Hon'ble Justice Anandamoy Bhattacharjee 1992–1994
Hon'ble Justice Krishna Chandra Agarwal 1994–1996
Hon'ble Justice V. N. Khare 2 February 1996 – 20 March 1997
Hon'ble Justice Prabha Shankar Mishra 1997–1998
Hon'ble Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur 22 December 1999 – 6 June 2004
Hon'ble Justice V. S. Sirpurkar 20 March 2005 – 11 January 2007
Hon'ble Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar 8 March 2007 – 16 November 2009
Hon'ble Justice Mohit Shantilal Shah 2009–2010
Hon'ble Justice Jainarayan Patel 2010–2012
Hon'ble Justice Arun Kumar Mishra 2012–2014
Hon'ble Justice Manjula Chellur 2014–2016
Hon'ble Justice Girish Chandra Gupta 21 September 2016–30 November 2016
Hon'ble Justice Nishita Nirmal Mhatre (Acting) 1 December 2016–September 20, 2017
Hon'ble Justice Rakesh Tiwari (Acting) September 20, 2017;till date


The neo-Gothic High Court building was constructed in 1872, ten years after the establishment of the court itself. The design, by then government architect Walter Granville, was loosely modelled on the 13th-century Cloth Hall at Ypres, Belgium.[5]

Calcutta High Court Centenary Building - Kolkata 2011-12-18 0343

In 1977 another building named High Court Centenary Building or annexed building was inaugurated to reduce the pressure.[6]


  1. ^ Court's official website
  2. ^ Change of name of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta HC
  3. ^ Ivermee, Robert. Secularism, Islam and Education in India, 1830–1910. 
  4. ^ James, Halen. "The Assassination of Lord Mayo : The "First" Jihad?" (PDF). IJAPS,Vol 5, No.2 (July 2009). Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Court's official website
  • Jurisdiction and Seats of Indian High Courts
  • Judge strength in High Courts increased

External links

  • Calcutta High Court official website
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