|Sir Leonard Stone succeeded Sir Beaumont as Chief Justice of the High Court of Bombay and assumed charge of the office on September 30, 1943. His Lordship was the 12th and the last English Chief Justice of Bombay.|
Sir Leonard Stone was born in November 1896 and received his early education at Malvern College, and when the Great War broke out he joined the Colours in 1914. From 1919 to 1922 he held various staff and administrative appointments in the New East. His Lordship practised in the Chancery Division where he had achieved a distinct position with flourishing practice. His Lordship had appeared in several appeals before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
In 1942, shortly before His Lordship came to Bombay and was appointed a Bencher of Gray's Inn. His Lordship made a strong, independent and conscientious Judge, but his judicial career was must too brief to leave any permanent mark on the Judicial history of Bombay. His Lordship resigned on India attaining Independence in 1947. The strange eventful history of 85 years of the British period of the Bombay High Court, was enacted on the night of the 14th of August 1947. On that memorable night, the members of the Original and the Appellate Side Bar, Solicitors, Officers and the entire staff of the High Court, as well as a large number of other gentlemen and ladies gathered in the Central Court at about 11.35p.m. The last British Chief Justice, Sir Leonard Stone, and the other judge took their seats at 11.45 p.m. A temporary flag-post was put up near the seat occupied by the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice Sir Leonard Stone addressed the gathering: At about 11.59 p.m., the Chief Justice requested the gathering to stand in silent prayer for a minute. Just at the stroke of 12, he unfurled the National Flag on the flag post; and simultaneously, a larger Flag was hoisted on the flag staff of the High Court building outside. The Chief Justice, who was in full Ceremonial Court dress, then saluted the Flag, and the other Judges who were in bands and gowns bowed before it. The twelve Englishmen complete the tale of British Chief Justices of the Bombay High Court.