Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court, Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, is one of the oldest High Courts of India with jurisdiction over the states of Maharashtra and Goa, and, the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The High Court has regional branches at Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra and Panaji, Goa.
The court is one of the most distinguished high courts in the country. The first Chief Justice, the Attorney General and Solicitor General of Independent India were from this court. Since India’s Independence, 22 judges from this court have been elevated to the Supreme Court and 8 of them have been Chief Justice of India.
The court has Original Jurisdiction in addition to its Appellate. The decisions of this court can be appealed only to the Supreme Court of India. The Bombay High Court has the sanctioned strength of 75 judges.
History and Premises
The Bombay High Court was inaugurated on 14 August 1862 under the High Courts Act, 1861. Although the name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995, the Court as an institution did not follow suit and remained as the Bombay High Court.
The work on the present building of the High Court was commenced in April 1871 and completed in November 1878. It was designed by British engineer Col. J. A. Fuller. The first sitting in this building was on 10 January 1879. Justice M. C. Chagla was the first Indian permanent Chief Justice of Bombay High Court after independence [1948 – 1958] Architecture: Gothic revival in the Early English style. It is 562 feet (171 m) long and 187 feet (57 m) wide. To the west of the central tower are two octagonal towers. The statues of Justice and Mercy are atop this building. The 125th anniversary of the buildhing is slated to be marked by the release of a book, commissioned by the Bar Association, called “The Bombay High Court: The Story of the Building – 1878–2003” by local historians Rahul Mehrotra and Sharada Dwivedi.
The High Court organized several functions in 2012 to mark completion of 150 years of establishment of the High Court. A special postal cover was released by Shri Milind Deora, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology at the historical Central Court Hall, High Court main building on 14 August 2012.
An exhibition displaying important artifacts, documents and articles of historical importance was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan in the Central Court Hall on 15 August 2012. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Chief Guest at the concluding ceremony of the year long Sesquicentennial celebrations on 18 August 2012.
The Chief Justice and the Judges
The court has a Sanctioned strength of 75 judges. The court handles 340,000 cases, both civil and criminal. 32 sitting judges of the court disposed around 2,000 cases each in 2004. The court has a ratio of 1:1.61 million :: judges to people. The Current Chief Justice is Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mohit S. Shah. His Lordship is the Former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court and was earlier, the Senior Most Judge at the High Court of Gujarat.
Principal Seat and Benches
The court has jurisdiction over the states of Maharashtra, Goa and the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The court has benches in Nagpur, Aurangabad and Panaji.
The Case Status and Causelists of Bombay High Court is available on its official website at www.bombayhighcourt.nic.in. The Orders and Judgments from year 2005 are also available on the website.
As of March 2012 the High Court has 315,988 civil cases and 45,960 criminal cases pending. At the same time, the District and subordinate courts under the Bombay High Court have a total of 3,179,475 pending cases.