Calcutta High Court

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Calcutta High Court
কলিকাতা উচ্চ আদালত
कलकत्ता उच्च न्यायालय
Calcutta High Court.jpg
Calcutta High Court Building
Established 1 July 1862; 154 years ago (1862-07-01)
Country  India
Location Kolkata, West Bengal (Principal Seat)
Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands (circuit bench)
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 32
Chief Justice
Currently Hon'ble Justice Nishita Nirmal Mhatre (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 63.


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[edit]

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 headquarters of the Jalpaiguri division of West Bengal.

Chief Justice[edit]

The current acting Chief Justice is Nishita Nirmal Mhatre.

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

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

List of Chief Justices[edit]

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

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

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.[5]


  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. ^ Court's official website

External links[edit]