Sudhi Ranjan Das

Justice

Sudhi Ranjan Das

Born -  October 1, 1894

Died -  September 18, 1977

Alma mater-  University of Calcutta
                      University College London

Designation - Additional Judge, Calcutta High Court 1942
                 
                      Puisne Judge, Calcutta High Court since 1944-                  
                   
                     Chief Justice, Punjab High Court from January 19, 1949 to January 19, 1950.

                     Judge Federal Court/Supreme Court of India since January 20, 1950.

                     Chief Justice of India, September 5  to October 31, 1955  to  December 1, 1955                    January 31,1956.

S.R. Das was born into the prominent Vaidya-Brahmin Das family of Telirbagh (now in Bangladesh). He was born to Rakhal Chandra Das and Binodini Das. He had a brilliant scholastic and educational record.  He received his early education in Tagore School at Shanti Niketan, followed by graduation from Bangabasi College at Calcutta, and then an LL.B., in which he obtained a first class first, from the University College in London. He was called to the Bar in 1918 from Gray Inn, London. He joined the Calcutta Bar in 1919 and also lectured at the University Law College. His infinite capacity for hard work, his erudition, and his perspicacity soon brought him to the forefront in the legal profession.

 In those days, lawyers of the front rank did not shun judicial office. His vast knowledge and experience and sterling qualities were utilised also in the spheres of education and public life. He was a member of the University Grants Commission from 1962 to 1965, and the Vice-chancellor of Vishwa Bharati University from 1959 to 1965. In November, 1961, he was appointed the Chairman of the Commission to enquire into the grievances of the Sikh Community. In November, 1963, he constituted the one-man Commission which investigated allegations of corruption and misuse of power against Chief Minister Kairon of Punjab who lost his office as a result of his findings.


He was also invited to become the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Statesman Newspaper at a critical juncture in its history. He was a man of outstanding wit, charm, serenity, saintliness, and godliness. No one can recall a single unkind word uttered by him. He bore his misfortunes with unsurpassed resignation and philosophical calm.


His great personality as a judge is reflected in most of his pronouncements which bear the impress of deep erudition, of close study of the case in hand and of an independent  approach to the problems raised in the controversies before the court. His judgments were marked by a philosophical grasp of basic problems of human existence, by sobriety and chastity of language and expression, by a very well balanced maturity of thought and sentiment, by a keen perception and master of the fundamental principles of law and justice in a changing world .
Retired on 30.9.1959.
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