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  Sir NORMAN CRANSTOUN MACLEOD  Sir NORMAN CRANSTOUN MACLEOD
Knight, B.A.(Oxon.), Bar-at-Law1919-1926
Sir Norman Cranstoun Macleod succeeded Sir Basil Scott as the Chief Justice in 1919. His Lordship came as barrister to practise in the Bombay High Court about 1890. His Lordship held various offices, judicial and administrative, serving as Chief Judge of Small Causes Court, Taxing Master and Commissioner for taking accounts, and as Official Assignee. In 1907, he was appointed temporary judge to deal with Land Acquisition References. His Lordship brought to bear upon his work quickness of grasp and uncanny talent for discarding irrelevant matters and going straight to the material points in the case. He had no doubt a powerful and penetrating intellect, a very decisive mind, and an amazing passion for hard work. All these qualities enabled him to dispose of a vast amount of work; and during his long judicial career, he disposed of more cases and wrote more judgments then any other judge. His Lordship's appointment as Chief Justice synchronized with the termination of the First World War, and there was an unprecedented boom in business and litigation. The Original Side suits multiplied tenfold rising to as many as 6,000 or 7,000 in the course of a year, and the strength of the Bench was just seven as before.

In order to relieve the congestion, Sir Macleod released five judges to take up Original Side work, keeping only one with himself to cope with all the work on the Appellate Side. But it must be admitted that the quickness and keenness of his mind enabled Macleod to grasp the essential features of a case more rapidly then most judges; and he was generally right in his decision. His Lordship was liberal in his outlook; and threw open various offices in the High Court to Indians, which in the past, had been reserved for Europeans. No Judge had a wider or more varied experience of the different departments of the High Court, or a more thorough knowledge of commercial litigation. His Lordship shouldered a heavier burden of work than most Judges with ability and success. His Lordship had a contempt for the rules, forms and technicalities of law and procedure, which frequently he carried to extremes. But his powerful and practical mind enabled him even with these slap-dash methods, to reach a sound conclusion.

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