Justice Bijan Kumar Mukherjea

As was the practice in those days, J. Mukherjea returned to his alma matter to be a part of the lecture series known as Tagore Law, which took place from 1870 to 1986. Here, he delivered a lecture on the “Hindu Law of Religious and Charitable Trusts,” in 1951.Based on such a profound academic background, he decided to share his knowledge and legal awareness in his publications “Problems and law” and “Hindu Law of Religious and Charitable Trusts.” He was also awarded the Ananth Dev Research Prize.

In 1914, he set out on his law profession journey as the junior government pleader at the Calcutta High Court. After acquiring 20 years of experience, he was elevated as the senior government pleader in 1934. Two years later, he was appointed as the Calcutta High Court Judge. During this time, he was also a part of the Boundary Commission that divided portions of Bengal and Punjab between India and Pakistan.

He kept rising within the judicial ranks, first as the Federal Court Judge in 1948, and subsequently as the Chief Justice of India in 1954. Thus, he became the fourth Chief Justice of India in the legacy of such great legal luminaries. He was such a hon’ble man that he refused PM Nehru’s offer of superseding J. Mahajan in appointment as the Chief Justice of India. On compulsion, he had famously said that he would instead prefer resigning than usurping the highest office in Judiciary before his turn.

Apart from his law practice,he pursued other interests too. He was a renowned Sanskrit scholar. He was a Fellow of the Calcutta University and the President of the Bengal Sanskrit Association. He was connected with literary and cultural Societies like Bibudha Janani Sava, Nabadwip, Gita Sava, Calcutta Sahitya Parishad, etc. He was also associated with the Scouts Movement in Bengal and acted as the District Commissioner, South Calcutta Boys SC Association.

In 1956, he died due to health complications.