Bombay High Court Virtual Museum


Poem in Stone

The Nagpur High Court was established on 9 January 1936 for the Central Provinces and Berar by a Letters Patent issued by King Emperor, George V under Section 108 of the Government of India Act, 1915 on 2 January 1936.  The Jurisdiction of the Nagpur High Court as invested by said the Letters Patent continued even after the adoption of the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950 by virtue of Articles 225 & 372 thereof.  The first Chief Justice was Sir Gilbert Stone.  The first Indian Chief Justice of Nagpur High Court was Mr. Justice Vivian Bose.

After the enactment of the State Reorganisation Act in 1956, Nagpur became a part of the then State of Bombay.  Chief Justice Mr. M. C. Chagla issued an Order under section 51(3) of States Reorganisation Act establishing Benches at Nagpur and Rajkot.  After the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960 two new States of Maharashtra and Gujarat were formed.  Rajkot merged with Gujarat and Nagpur remained the part of Maharashtra.  The Central Provinces became the new State of Madhya Pradesh and a High Court was constituted with its principal seat at Jabalpur.

The Nagpur High Court building is called a Poem in Stone because of its beautiful structure.  The most conspicuous feature of the High Court frontage is the Dome, then the grant entrance, both towers and then the majestic staircase.  It was designed by Architect H.A.N. Medd.  The first impression which one gets is that the structure resembles Classical European architectural forms.  Greek influence can be seen prominently in the columns.  The predominant Roman features can be seen in ornamentation of both square and arched alcoves.  Italian influence can be seen in the ascending frontage known as the "Piano Nobile" meaning "Noble Floor" with a distinctive Indian touch.  The Dome is in three parts two of which have the form of sepulchral architecture-dome and chhatries.  The Renaissance drum is cylindrical and elongated.  Over it are Rajasthani chhatris.  The dome has the resonance of the soprano.

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