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Supreme Court's Seniority Norm

Given that the Chief Justice of India composes panels and assigns cases to judges, unlike in systems where cases are randomly assigned to avoid bias or where apex constitutional courts sit in plenary sessions, the question of how the CJI is appointed is crucial. This article seeks to answer this question by empirically investigating whether the seniority norm existed prior to the establishment of the Supreme Court of India - specifically, in the high courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Allahabad, Patna, and in the Federal Court of India.

COMMENTARY

the government was contemplating ap-

Supreme Court’s Seniority Norm

pointing somebody other than the next most senior justice on the court to the

Historical Origins

post of chief justice, but all the judges who were on the court at the time threatened to resign if the seniority Abhinav Chandrachud norm was not followed.6 Accordingly, on

Given that the Chief Justice of India composes panels and assigns cases to judges, unlike in systems where cases are randomly assigned to avoid bias or where apex constitutional courts sit in plenary sessions, the question of how the CJI is appointed is crucial. This article seeks to answer this question by empirically investigating whether the seniority norm existed prior to the establishment of the Supreme Court of India – specifically, in the high courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Allahabad, Patna, and in the Federal Court of India.

I am grateful to George Gadbois for his comments. Any faults with this article are my own.

Abhinav Chandrachud (abhinav.chandrachud@ gmail.com) is Fellow, Stanford Program in International Legal Studies.

B
etween 1950 and 2011, about 38 Chief Justices of India have served on the Supreme Court. The overwhelming majority of these men became chief justices by the norm of seniority, i e, an unwritten practice which dictates that when the Chief Justice of India retires, the most senior associate judge of the Court at the time becomes the next Chief Justice of India, where seniority is measured by length of service on the Supreme Court. There have been only three exceptions to this norm,1 two of which were serious attempts to tamper with the independence of the judiciary. India’s Constitution ensures that the Supreme Court judges enjoy security of tenure, i e, once appointed to the court, they cannot be removed except by a strenuously difficult impeachment process,2 their tenures cannot be shortened,3 and their salary cannot be altered to their disadvantage.4 However, in 1970s, the Indira Gandhi government attempted to interfere with this structural judicial independence by controlling “promotions” on the Supreme Court of India, i e, by superseding senior judges who had decided cases against the government, and by consequently deviating from the seniority norm. Except for a brief period between 1973 and 1977, the seniority norm has been stringently followed on the Supreme Court of India.

Given that the Chief Justice of India composes panels and assigns cases to judges (unlike in systems where cases are randomly assigned to avoid bias or where apex constitutional courts sit in plenary sessions), the question of how the Chief Justice of India is appointed is especially important. But what is the source of the seniority norm, i e, did it have historical origins or was it a contemporary innovation? When the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, Harilal Kania, passed away in November 1951,5 it was rumoured that

february 25, 2012

7 November 1951, the post of Chief Justice of India went to the most senior judge of the court. In that decade, six chief justices of India served on the court, and each was the most senior associate justice of the court on the eve of his appointment as the Chief Justice of India. The sixth chief justice later wrote that it was “unwritten law” that the “Chief Justiceship would go to the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court”.7 But did this norm exist before 1950s, or did it come into being only with the establishment of the Supreme Court?

This article seeks to answer this question by empirically investigating whether the seniority norm existed prior to the establishment of the Supreme Court of India – specifically, in the high courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Allahabad, Patna, or in the Federal Court of India. I find weak evidence for the existence of the seniority norm on the high courts of Allahabad and Patna, and on the Federal Court of India. Each time, the norm began with the appointment of an Indian (i e, non-British) chief justice. In this article, I make no normative claims about the seniority convention.

Methodology

In order to answer my research question, I systematically mined law reports8 published roughly between 1870 and 1950, for the high courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Allahabad – the first high courts established in India by letters patent consequent to the Indian High Courts Act, 1861, and also the High Court of Patna, another old and reputable court in British India. The law reports of these courts were examined to see if there was any evidence for the prevalence of the seniority norm for the appointment of the chief justice of these high courts. Law reports for the Federal Court of India, established consequent to the Government of India Act, 1935, were also examined.

vol xlviI no 8

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Economic & Political Weekly

COMMENTARY

Besides publishing decisions that were issued during the year, each volume of the law report also contained a page on who the chief justice and associate justices on the court were during the course of that year. By comparing the composition of each court over the years, I was able to determine two things:

(1) whether a chief justice of a high court had served as an associate justice on the court immediately prior to his appointment as the chief justice, and (2) if so, whether he had been the most senior associate justice on the court on the eve of his appointment as the chief justice.

Using this methodology it was possible for me to determine whether a person served as an associate judge on the court immediately prior to his appointment as chief justice with sufficient accuracy. However, the question of whether a judge had superseded another was slightly more difficult to ascertain. When justice X was senior to justice Y, and a volume of a law report for a particular year showed justice Y as the chief justice and justice X as an associate judge, two scenarios were possible: (1) justice X had superseded justice Y, or (2) justice Y had retired, resigned or passed away that year, but before justice X had become the chief justice (the law report accurately reflected the fact that justice Y was an associate judge for some part of that year). For example, when P V Rajamannar was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court in April 1948, Reginald Clark, an associate judge senior to Rajamannar, had already resigned in March that year. However, the law report for the year 1948 shows Rajamannar as the chief justice, and Clark as an associate judge, confusingly indicating a possibility of his having been superseded by Rajamannar. In order to overcome this difficulty, I have corroborated my data on supersessions with historical archives of the Times of India newspaper, obtained from the Pro-Quest electronic archive for the Times of India (1838-2002). In some cases, information about judges, particularly those who were barristers in England, was obtained from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (electronic resource). The period of each chief justice’s term was then corro borated against information

Economic & Political Weekly

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february 25, 2012

provided on the website of each high court (except Calcutta, which does not provide such information).

It must be underscored that the analysis in this section relies on the accuracy of reporting in the law reports – the Indian Law Reports, Indian Decisions, Indian High Court Decisions, and All India Reporter. Generally speaking, these law reports contain a credible list of judges who served on the court, in their order of seniority. However, the list appeared to be unreliable in some cases, particularly for the courts of Lahore, Oudh and Nagpur, which have consequently been excluded from the analysis.

Bombay High Court (1862-1950)

The High Court of Bombay did not follow the seniority convention. Very few (if only one)9 of its 13 chief justices between 1862 and 1950 were the most senior associate judges on the court on the eve of their appointment as chief justice. Four of its chief justices did not appear to have previously served as associate justices on the court,10 while those who did, typically11 superseded between one and three judges who were more senior to them on the bench,12 on their appointments as chief justices of the court. Of the four outsiders, Louis A Kershaw was the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Lawrence Jenkins was a judge of the Calcutta High Court, while two others (John William Fisher Beaumont and Leonard Stone) were barristers. One of the outsiders, Jenkins, was only 40 years old when he was transferred from the Calcutta High Court, where he was a judge, and appointed as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court – considered a “bold experiment”13 even then. In fact, the first Indian Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, M C Chagla (1948-58), superseded a senior judge, Kshitis Chandra Sen, when he was appointed as the chief justice,14 although Sen was an Indian Civil Service (ICS) judge,15 and in Bombay, it was said to be an “unbroken tradition” that the chief justice could not be an ICS judge – the outgoing Chief Justice Leonard Stone, had apparently recommended that this tradition not be deviated from.16 In fact, it was said that the Chief Justice of

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India, Harilal Kania, had decided during his term as the chief justice that an ICS judge would not be appointed to the Supreme Court.17

Bombay High Court Chief Justices (1862-1950)

Mathew Richard Sausse

Richard Couch

Michael Roberts Westropp

Charles Sargent

Charles Frederick Farran

Louis A Kershaw

Lawrence Jenkins

Basil Scott

Norman Macleod

Amberson Barrington Marten

John William Fisher Beaumont

Leonard Stone

M C Chagla

Madras High Court (1862-1950)

Similarly, the Madras High Court did not follow the seniority convention in the matter of appointing chief justices either. Here too, of its 12 chief justices between 1862 and 1961, only one18 appeared to be the most senior associate judge of the court on the eve of his appointment as the chief justice.19 Seven of its 12 chief justices did not appear to have served as associate justices on the Madras High Court at all. Of the outsiders, three (Charles Turner, Alfred Henry Lionel Leach and Frederick William Gentle) were associate judges at high courts other than Madras before being appointed as chief justices of Madras, and one (Walter Morgan) was the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. The three remaining outsiders (Arthur T H Collins, Charles Arnold White and Walter George Salis Schwabe) were lawyers, two of whom were designated queen’s or king’s counsel, and one (White) advocate general of Madras. Those who were associate judges of the court superseded other, more senior, judges to become chief justice.20 In one instance, one associate judge, V M Coutts-Trotter (1924-29), appeared to have superseded only one other judge before becoming the chief justice, Charles Gordon Spencer, who was an ICS judge. The first Indian chief justice of the Madras High Court, P V Rajamannar, appeared to have superseded four judges to become the Chief Justice of Madras.21

COMMENTARY

Chief Justices of the Madras High Court

Walter Morgan

John Edward Power Wallis

Walter George Salis Schwabe

V M Coutts-Trotter

Horace Owen Compton Beasley

Alfred Henry Lionel Leach

Frederick William Gentle

P V Rajamannar

Calcutta High Court (1862-1950)

The overwhelming majority of the 10 chief justices who served on the Calcutta High Court between 1862 and 1950 did not appear to have previously served as associate justices on the court. But the post of chief justice of this court was prestigious, perhaps one of the most prestigious judicial posts in British India. In fact, in the early years, the chief justice of this court would be described in newspaper reports as the “Chief Justice of India”.22 This perhaps explains why four of its nine chief justices who came from outside the court were formerly chief justices of other high courts in India: appeared that he superseded three25 more senior judges, including an ICSjudge, to get to the post. Accordingly, the seniority convention appeared never to have been followed on the Calcutta High Court before 1950.

Allahabad High Court (1866-1950)

Of all the letters patent high courts first established consequent to the Indian High Courts Act, 1861, it was only at the Allahabad High Court that evidence was available for the seniority norm, with the appointment of the first Indian chief justice of that court, Shah Muhammad Sulaiman, in 1932. Many of its chief justices until then appeared not to have previously served as associate justices on the court prior to appointment as the chief justice of the court.26 With the appointment of Sulaiman, between 1932 and 1946, the seniority convention appeared to have been followed for the next two chief justices. Accordingly, when Sulaiman left for the federal court in 1937, the most senior associate justice, John Gibb Thom, became the chief justice. When Thom’s term ended, Iqbal Ahmad, the most senior

Chief Justices of the Allahabad High Court

(1866-1950)

Bombay (Richard Couch and Lawrence Walter Morgan became the chief justice. When Fazl Ali
Hugh Jenkins), Allahabad (W Comer Robert Stuart was appointed to the Federal Court in
Petheram) and Lahore (Arthur Trevor W Comer Petheram 1946, the most senior associate justice,
Harries).23 The remaining five24 of its nine John Edge C M Agarwala, became the chief justice.
chief justices who came from outside Louis Kershaw Interestingly, after Agarwala, Herbert
Arthur Strachey
were lawyers, typically designated queen’s John Stanley Ribton Meredith, an ICS judge, became
or king’s counsel, and members of the Henry George Richards the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court
British Parliament, or in one case a Edward Grimwood Mears for a few months, between January and
member of the Supreme Council in India. Shah Muhammad Sulaiman April 1950. However, the seniority con-
Chief Justice George Claus Rankin John Gibb Thom vention was breached once again when,
seemed to have been the only associate Iqbal Ahmad on 8 April 1950, the advocate general
justice of the Calcutta High Court on Kamla Kanta Verma Lakshmikant Jha, was directly appointed
the eve of his appointment as chief Bidhubhusan Malik as the chief justice of the high court.31

associate justice of the court, became the chief justice. However, thereafter, Kamla Kanta Verma superseded one judge to become the chief justice of the court – James Joseph Whittlesea Allsop, an ICS judge.27 Of the eight judges who did not serve on the court prior to their appointment as chief justices, six were lawyers, and two were associate judges of other high courts.28

Patna High Court (1916-50)

The Patna High Court had just eight chief justices between 1916 and 1952. Five of these29 did not appear to have served as associate justices on the court prior to their appointment as chief justice. Only one of these, Arthur Trevor Harries, was formerly a judge – in fact, the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court – who was appointed to the Patna High Court when the then Chief Justice Courteney Terrell, died in office.30 The rest were all lawyers. Between 1943 and 1950, however, for seven years the seniority norm was followed, covering the appointments of three chief justices of the court. Thus, when Chief Justice Arthur Trevor Harries retired from the court, the most senior associate justice, Syed Fazl Ali,

justice of that court, and even then, it

Chief Justices of the Calcutta High Court

(1862-1950)

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Sir Richard Couch

Richard Garth

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W Comer Petheram

Francis William Maclean

Lawrence Hugh Jenkins

Lancelot Sanderson

George Claus Rankin

Harold Derbyshire

Arthur Trevor Harries

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Chief Justices

Courteney Terrell

C M Agarwala

Herbert Ribton Meredith

Lakshmikant Jha

Federal Court of India (1937-50)

The Federal Court of India was established on 1 October 1937. Between its establishment in 1937 and Indian independence in 1947, the court had eight judges, never more than three at a time. Between 1947 and 1950, it grew in size, first to five judges, then to six merely days before the new Constitution came into force. The court did not follow the seniority norm. Accordingly, William Patrick Spens replaced Maurice Gwyer on the court as its chief justice when the latter retired, although at the time, S Varadachariar, who had served as acting chief justice in the interim, was the most senior judge of the court. Apparently, the outgoing chief justice, Maurice Gwyer, was “bitterly opposed” to the appointment of Spens to the court.32 On 15 August 1947, the date on which India achieved independence, Harilal J Kania, the most senior associate judge on the Federal Court, took over as the chief justice, when Spens resigned. Since Kania continued as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, the seniority convention began with his appointment to the Federal Court in 1947.

Chief Justices of the Federal Court of India

(1937-50)

Maurice Gwyer

William Patrick Spens

Harilal Kania

Analysis

Of the five high courts analysed, there was evidence that the seniority convention was sparingly followed in some form only in two courts: Allahabad and Patna. Where the convention was in vogue, it was followed for a brief period of time only, and never too religiously. On both the Allahabad and Patna High Courts, three judges each were appointed as chief justices by the norm of seniority, i e, they were the most senior associate justices on the court on the eve of their appointment as chief justice. In Allahabad, this happened between 1932 and 1946, and in Patna, between 1943 and 1950. In each case, the first person who became the chief justice by virtue of his seniority was an Indian judge, i e, he was not English, and he was the first Indian judge ever to have been appointed as the chief justice of that court. However, one British judge on each of these courts became chief justice by virtue of the norm of seniority, so when and where the seniority norm was followed, it was not confined only to Indian judges, although the appointment of an Indian judge as chief justice may have started the trend. Even on the Federal Court of India, the first chief justice to have been appointed by the rule of seniority (Harilal Kania) was an Indian. Thus, the seniority norm on three courts – the Federal Court, the Allahabad High Court and the Patna High Court – was similar in that it began with the appointment of an Indian chief justice.

Accordingly, approximately 15% of the chief justice posts in five high courts, were staffed by the most senior associate justice on the court. Viewed as a cohesive whole, the seniority convention on the high courts of India was an exception rather than a rule. The appointment in the 1950s of one Chief Justice of India after another on the norm of seniority, then, was an aberration, although today it is perhaps indispensable for safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

Notes and references

1 In February 1964, Justice Gajendragadkar superseded Justice Imam, who was seriously unwell. George Gadbois, Judges of the Supreme Court of India (1950-1989) (OUP 2011) 59. In April 1973, A N Ray superseded justices Shelat, Hegde and Grover. In 1977, M H Beg superseded H R Khanna.

2 Articles 124(4), 217(1) Proviso (b), Constitution of India. So far, not a single judge has been successfully removed in this manner.

3 Supreme Court judges retire at age 65. Article 124(2), Constitution of India. Retired Supreme Court judges can, however, be offered extensions, but not as permanent Supreme Court judges, only as retired judges. Article 128, Constitution of India.

4 Article 125(2) Proviso, 221(2) Proviso, Constitution of India.

5 “Mr Harilal Kania Dead: First Indian Chief Justice at Centre”, Times of India, 7 November 1951. Interestingly, the website of the Supreme Court of India says that he retired, http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/judges/rcji/ 01hjkania.htm (last visited 12 December 2011).

6 See K S Hegde, A Dangerous Doctrine, in Kuldip Nayar Supersession of Judges (Hind 1973) 47; M C Setalvad, My Life, Law and Other Things (1970) 185; 120th Report of the Law Commission of India, page 4 (paragraph 1.14).

7 B P Sinha, Reminiscences and Reflections of a Chief Justice (1985) 72.

8 For information between 1870 and 1913, I went through the Indian Law Reports, Indian Decisions and Indian High Court Decisions. For information between 1914 and 1950, I went through the All India Reports. For the Federal Court of India I went through the Federal Court reports.

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COMMENTARY

9 Charles Sargent, who succeeded Michael Roberts judge on the Bombay High Court for longer
Westropp as Chief Justice of the Bombay High than three years.
Court, seemed to have been the most senior as 16 Nani Palkhivala, Our Constitution: Defaced and
sociate justice of the court at the time. Defiled (Macmillan 1974) 97.
10 Chief justices Louis A Kershaw, Lawrence 17 B P Sinha, Reminiscences and Reflections of a
Jenkin, John William Fisher Beaumont and Chief Justice (1985) 73.
Leonard Stone. 18 Chief Justice John Edward Power Wallis ap
11 Although Sausse, Couch and Westropp each peared to be the most senior associate justice on
served as associate judges on the Bombay High the eve of his appointment as the chief justice.
Court, it is not clear if they were the most senior associate justices on the court at the time. 19 Information about Colley Harman Scotland was not available.
12 “Chief Justice Sir Charles Frederick Farran superseded at least three judges: L H Bayley, John Jardine and H J Parsons. Cf Mr Justice Bayley”, Times of India, 27 June 1895; P B Vachha, Famous Judges, Lawyers and Cases of Bombay (1962) 67; 20 V M Coutts-Trotter superseded Charles Gordon Spencer. Cf “The Late Sir Leslie Miller”, Times of India, 21 February 1925. Horace Owen Compton Beasley superseded E H Wallace, M Venkatasubba Rao, Charles Edwin Odgers, Vepa Ramesan,
“The High Court Appointments”, Times of India, and Calamoor V Kumaraswami Sastriar. Cf
11 June 1895; “Judge’s Protest: Minute recorded “Echo of South Indian Railway Strike”, Times of
by the Honourable Mr Justice Jardine”, Times India, 12 March 1930; “Four Years’ Jail for Pos
of India, 22 January 1889; “Justice Parson’s sessing Bombs”, Times of India, 27 April 1935;
Retirement”, Times of India, 20 April 1900. “Madras High Court: Two New High Court
“Chief Justice Basil Scott superseded at least Judges”, Times of India, 1 July 1929; ‘”Woman
three judges: L P Russell, N G Chandavarkar, Fined for Calling Another a Witch”, Times of In
and S L Batchelor. Cf Sir Narayan Chandavarkar”, dia, 8 August 1932; “Sir C V Kumaraswami Sas
“Sir Basic Scott: An Appreciation”, Times of India, tri”, Times of India, 25 April 1934. P V Rajaman
12 April 1919. Bombay Government Gazette, nar (1948-1961) superseded L C Horwill, A C Hap-
Times of India, 19 April 1912; Justice Batchelor at pell, J A Bell and Diwan Bahadur N Chan-
Dharwar, Times of India, 3 February 1913; “Sir drasekhara Ayyar. Cf Late News, Times of In-
Stanley Batchelor”, Times of India, 23 May 1918. dia, 15 January 1948; “Madras Chief Justice”,
“Chief Justice Sir Norman Macleod superseded Times of India, 23 April 1948; “Habeas Corpus
John Heaton. Cf Bombay High Court”, Times Plea by ‘Red’”, Times of India, 5 August 1949;
of India, 24 February 1920. “Chief Justice Sir Kishekke vs Payikhat, AIR 1949 Mad 443; Sri
Amberson Barrington Marten superseded Sir Vasudevandra vs Sridharan, AIR 1949 Mad
Lallubhai Asharam Shah. Cf Sir Amberson Marten: 630.
New Chief Justice of Bombay”, Times of India, 21 Ibid.
6 May 1926; “Great Lawyer and Upright Gentleman: The Late Lallubhai A Shah”, Times of India, 18 November 1926. 22 See, e g, “The Famine in India”, Times of India, 2 December 1897 (describing Francis Maclean as the Chief Justice of India).
13 “Late Sir L Jenkins: Bombay Chief Justice’s Tribute”, Times of India, 5 October 1928. 23 Arthur Trevor Harries, an associate justice in Allahabad, was appointed as the Chief Justice
14 See further, “Chagla Was Appointed Supersed of Bihar in September 1938, and later the Chief
ing K C Sen”, Times of India, 30 April 1973; Justice of Lahore in 1942. “Patna High Court
S Mohan Kumaramangalam, Judicial Appoint- Chief Justice”, Times of India, 21 September
ments (Gulab 1973) 76. 1938; “Lahore Chief Judge”, Times of India,
15 Under the Government of India Act, 1935, an 6 October 1942.
ICS judge could not be appointed as the chief 24 Barnes Peacock, QC, was formerly a member of
justice of a high court constituted by letters the Supreme Council; Richard Garth, QC, was a
patent unless he had served for not less than Conservative MP; Francis William Maclean, QC,
three years as a judge of a high court. Section 220(3) Proviso, Government of India Act, 1935. However, it is highly doubtful that an ICS judge who had reached a position of the highest sen was a Liberal MP; Lancelot Sanderson was a king’s counsel, but not much information was available; Harold Derbyshire, KC, was a judge of Appeal, Isle of Man, and served as a Liberal MP.
iority on a court would not have served three 25 Justices Hugh Walmsley (ICS), William Ewart
years on the court. For example, Sen was a Greaves, B P Newbould. Cf “Calcutta High

Court: Reported Resignation of Sir Ewart Greaves”, Times of India, 22 July 1927; Gazette of India, Times of India, 31 January 1927; “Calcutta’s New Chief Justice”, Times of India, 14 October 1926; “New Calcutta Judge”, Times of India, 28 October 1926.

26 Chief justices W Comer Petheram, John Edge, Louis Kershaw, Arthur Strachey, John Stanley and Edward Grimwood Mears did not serve as associate judges on the court. Henry George Richards superseded G E Knox and P C Banerji in his appointment as chief justice of that court. Cf. News in Brief, Times of India, 26 October 1915; “Viceregal News”, Times of India, 19 May 1913; “No Title”, Times of India, 8 August 1912.

27 Allsop retired in 1947. Social and Personal, Times of India, 17 March 1947. The 1947 volume of the All India Reports for Allahabad listed both Allsop and Mulla as associate justices that year, but it was unclear if they retired before Malik’s appointment as thechief justice. For these two judges, I obtained corroborating evidence from an advocate who practices in the Allahabad High Court, discovering that Allsop resigned on 11 February 1947, Mulla retired on 16 July 1947, while Malik became the chief justice on 14 December 1947.

28 Morgan, Stuart, Petheram, Edge, Kershaw and Mears were lawyers prior to their appointment as chief justices. Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce, 24 December 1859; “A New Chief Justice”, Times of India, 19 October 1871; “The New Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court”, Times of India, 7 November 1884; “Orders by the Lieut.-Govr”, Times of India, 19 August 1886; “New Chief Justice of the NWP”, Times of India, 26 March 1898; “Allahabad High Court”, Times of India, 2 June 1919. Arthur Strachey was previously an associate judge on the Bombay High Court, while John Stanley was previously an associate judge on the Calcutta High Court. “The High Court Judges”, Times of India, 30 June 1899; “NW Provinces Orders”, Times of India, 21 August 1901.

29 Edward Maynard Des Champs Chamier, the first chief justice; Thomas Frederick Dawson Miller, Courteney Terrell, Arthur Trevor Harries, Lakshmikant Jha.

30 “Patna High Court Chief Justice”, Times of India, 21 September 1938.

31 See Front Page, Times of India, 8 April 1950.

32 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online Resource), under “William Patrick Spens”.

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1857

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