1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Romesh Chandra Mitra, Sir
ROMESH CHANDRA MITRA, Sir (1840–1899), Indian judge, was born in 1840. When the East India Company’s charter was renewed in 1853, the old supreme courts and sadr courts in the presidency towns were changed into high courts, and Roma Prasad Roy, son of the great reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy, was the first Indian who was appointed a judge of the new high court of Calcutta. He did not live, however, to take his seat on the bench, and was succeeded by Sambhu Nath Pandit, and then by Dwarka Nath Mitra, perhaps the most talented judge that India produced in the 19th century. Dwarka Nath’s great ability and thorough insight into cases were universally recognized in India; his decisions were valued and often quoted; and his name was often mentioned as an illustration of the judicial capacity of the natives of India. Anukul Chandra Mukerji also sat on the bench for a time; and on his death in 1871, Romesh Chandra Mitra was appointed judge in his place. He maintained the high reputation of his predecessors, and for a period of nearly twenty years, down to 1890, he performed his judicial duties with credit and distinction. When the post of chief justice was temporarily vacant in 1882, the marquis of Ripon, then viceroy of India, appointed Romesh Chandra to officiate in that post—the highest judicial position in the Indian empire. Lord Dufferin, who succeeded Lord Ripon as viceroy of India, appointed Romesh Chandra a member of the Public Service Commission, and in this capacity he did valuable work. Failing health compelled him to retire from the high court in 1890, and he was then knighted and appointed a member of the viceroy’s legislative council. Till he died in 1899, he continued to take interest in all social, educational and political reforms in India.