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History of the Calcutta High court


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. 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 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 headquarter of the Jalpaiguri division of West Bengal.

Chief Justice

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.

The building

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.


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