The beautiful building that is the home of Bombay High Court in Mumbai has been in use for many decades, seeing hundreds of judges come and go. Bombay High Court has jurisdiction over The Union Territories of Daman and Diu; Dadra and Nagar Haveli; Maharashtra and Goa. Within the elegant edifice, which has seen the progression over the years of the dignity and solemnity that is such a feature of judicial process, there is provision for 75 judges at Bombay High Court. With such a long and rich history of the court it is no surprise that 22 judges from Bombay High Court have gone on to sit on India’s Supreme Court and no less than 8 have been elected as Chief Justice of India, a considerable achievement.
The function of Bombay High Court is to interpret and apply the laws as laid down in the Constitution of India, to supervise and monitor subordinate courts; in short it is responsible for the administration of the nation’s judiciary.
Bombay High Court is an intensely busy arena; in 2004 alone the 32 sitting judges oversaw an impressive 2000 cases each, and the Court as a whole deals with approximately 340 000 cases per year. It is estimated that Bombay High Court operates on a ratio of one judge to every 1.6 million people, hopefully a very large percentage of the population are content with their lot, law-abiding and honest, and will not need to occupy any of the judges’ time!
Although the name of the city changed to Mumbai in 1995, Bombay High Court chose not to change, retaining the ‘Bombay.’ Bombay High Court has been in existence for just over 150 years, recently celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary.
India takes great pride in the successful continuation of the Bombay High Court, through civil unrest and Independence, and celebrated the 150 year anniversary with a series of functions throughout the year, culminating in a concluding ceremony attended by many dignitaries, including the President.