An Independent Colonial Judiciary


In the midst of Ripon’s Viceroyalty, in 1882, for the first time in the history of colonial India, an Indian Judge, Romesh Chunder Mitter, was appointed to act as Chief Justice of The Calcutta High Court, when Chief Justice Sir Richard Garth went on leave. 

It would take another few decades for an Indian, Badruddin Tyabji, to act as The Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. Tyabji acted as The Chief Justice of The Bombay High Court in 1903. At that time, Sir Lawrence Hugh Jenkins was the Permanent CJ of the Court.

Sir Romesh Chunder Mitter also served as a member of the Viceroy’s Legislative Council concurrently with his judgeship.  

Three Indian Judges came close to becoming Chief Justices of The Bombay High Court, but either fate, or judicial politics, intervened. They were: Badruddin Tyabji, Lallubhai Shah, and Harilal Kania.”

Abhinav ChandrachudAn Independent Colonial Judiciary, (OUP, 2015).RCM.png