The Calcutta High Court was established on 1st July, 1862 under the High Court’s Act, 1861. It has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The High Court building was designed by Mr. Walter Granville, Government Architect, on the model of the ‘Stadt-Haus’ or Cloth Hall at Ypres in Belgium.
The seat of the High Court is Kolkata, capital of West Bengal. It also has a permanent Circuit Bench in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The court has a sanctioned judge strength of 58.
The High Court at Calcutta, formerly known as the High Court of Judicature at Fort William, was brought into existence by the Letters Patent dated 14th May, 1862, issued under the High Court's Act, 1861, which provided that the jurisdiction and powers of the High Court were to be defined by Letters Patent. The High Court of Judicature at Fort William was formally opened on 1st July, 1862, with Sir Barnes Peacock as its first Chief Justice. Appointed on 2nd February, 1863, Justice Sumboo Nath Pandit was the first Indian to assume office as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court, followed by legal luminaries such as Justice Dwarka Nath Mitter, Justice Ramesh Chandra Mitter, Sir Chunder Madhab Ghosh, Sir Gooroodas Banerji, Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee and Justice P.B. Chakravartti who was the first Indian to become a permanent Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.