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High Court, Bombay

Judges are part of the Judicial service. Depending up court in which they served they were recruited from different echelons.

High Court

Generally, high level judges were Barristers of England or Ireland, or Scottish Advocates employed directly by the Indian Government. They were not Civil Servants, or members of the East India Company.

  • Before 1862 Judges served the Supreme Courts in India
  • After 1862 they served the High Courts in India. Occationally, Pleaders of the Indian High Courts were recuited to serve in the (mainstream) High Courts.

District Courts

Mostly Judges were recuited from the Indian Civil Service, promoted from the role of Magistrate. From the late 19th century LLB (legal degrees) were encouraged.

Unlike other civil servants, that answer to a variety of masters, Judges answer only to the High Court.

  • Before 1862 the upper tier served as Judges of the Adalat and Sadr Adalat Courts,
  • Afterwards, the worked as District and Sessions Judges and Judges of the High Courts/Chief Courts

Lower tier Judges worked in the Indian Courts.


  • To listen to appeals from subordinate judges
  • Conduct criminal trials

External Links

Historical books online

Sketches of Social Life in India Passage about the role of judges in the 1880's


Dictionary & Glossary British Library website