High courts are said to be the highest courts of the state their judgements are binding upon lower courts and tribunals. From time to time high courts judgements had played a vital role in shaping and upgrading the judicial system at its best and also those judgements had been proven to be precedent to decide other matters as well. High courts of India have some unknown facts hidden in its history let’s dig deep into down with help of this article.
Here are some interesting and little-known facts about the High courts of India.
- The Calcutta High Court is the oldest high court in India. It was established on July 1, 1862.Its design is based on the Cloth Hall, Ypres in Belgium. Indeed, it is said that when the latter was destroyed in World War I, the Mayor of Ypres asked for the plans of Calcutta High Court to help reconstruct it. It is one of the three High Courts in India established at the presidency towns by letter patent granted by her majesty queen Victoria. Other two are Bombay High Court and Madras High Court. Calcutta High Court has the jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- Bombay High Court is the Second oldest High Court in India. It was established on 14th August,1862. It has the jurisdiction over Goa, Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The present building was designed by a British engineer, Col. J.A. Fuller. The structure follows a Gothic revival architecture dating back to the early English style. Although the name of the city changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1996, the name of the High court remained the same i.e., ‘The Bombay High Court’. This beautiful structure built with black stone is one of the oldest and biggest courts in Western India and has benches in Panaji, Aurangabad and Nagpur. Along the west of the central tower, there are two octagonal towers and statues of ‘Justice’ and ‘Mercy’ on the top of this building which serve as a source of inspiration for law abiding citizens.
- Madras High Court is the third oldest High Court in India. It was established on 15th August,1862. It has the jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The building is the second largest judicial complex in the world after London. The architecture of the place follows an Indo-Saracenic style which was influenced by the British. Madras has been officially renamed to Chennai. But it still retains the name Madras High Court. It is said that, Madras High Court was built by the British East India Company in 1757 AD after demolishing Chenna Keshava Perumal and Chenna Malleshwarar temple which was located there previously. The history of these temples goes back to 1646 CE. It’s to be noted that there were multiple attacks from various European forces and Hyder Ali army resulting in looting of temple. British then demolished the twin temples amidst public outcry and donated land for constructing temple in a different place.It is from these temples, the city got its name “Chennai”. The Madras Law Journal, published from the Madras High Court, was the first journal in India dedicated to reporting judgements of a Court (1891).
- Gauhati High Court has the jurisdiction over the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram and Nagaland. Earlier, it had the jurisdiction over the states of Meghalaya, Manipuri & Tripura but these three states has their own High courts since 2013 raising the total number of High Courts in India from 21 to 25.
- Kerala High Court has the jurisdiction over the Kerala & Lakshadweep.
- Hyderabad High Court, which has jurisdiction over 2 states namely Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Therefore, there are 2 high courts which have jurisdiction over more than one state.
- Punjab & Haryana High Court has the jurisdiction over the Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh.
- Delhi or National Capital Territory of India is the only Union Territory of India which has its own High Court.
- Remaining High Courts has the jurisdiction over their own states or union territory.
- First Cheif Justice of Supreme court is H.J. Kania.
- First female judge of High court is Anna Chandi.
- First female chief justice of High court is Leila Sheth. She was the Chief Justice of High Court of Himanchal Pradesh.
- First Female judge of Supreme court is Fathima Bheevi.
- Before Supreme Court, Federal Court was the apex court of India.
- It is interesting to note that you can file Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in any High Courts or Supreme Court.
The High Courts of India holds the supreme powers of the judiciary being the judiciary of state. It plays a significant role in defining the judicial system of the country. It is one such body that ensures free and fair judgement at local and district levels.
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