19 May 2016

MC Chagla 1.10.2004

Mahommedali Currim Chagla (30 September 1900 – 9 February 1981) was an Indian jurist, diplomat, and Cabinet Minister who served as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court from 1948 to 1958.
Born on 30 September 1900 in Bombay to a well-off Shia Muslim merchant family, Chagla suffered a lonely childhood owing to his mother's death in 1905. He was educated at St. Xavier's High School and College in Bombay, after which he went on to study at Lincoln College, Oxford, from 1919 until 1922. He then was admitted to the Bar of the Bombay High Court, where he worked with such illuminaries as Sir Jamshedji Kanga and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who would one day become the founder of Pakistan.
Chagla idolized Jinnah and held membership in the Muslim League, but severed all ties to Jinnah after he began to work for the cause of a separate Muslim state. He, along with others, then founded the Muslim Nationalist Party in Bombay, a party which was ignored and pushed aside in the independence struggle. He was appointed as Professor of law to Government Law College, Bombay in 1927, where he worked with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. He was appointed as a judge to Bombay High Court in 1941, becoming Chief Justice in 1948 and serving in that capacity to 1958.
In 1946, Chagla was part of the first Indian delegation to the UN. From 4 October to 10 December 1956, Chagla served as Acting Governor of the then state of Bombay, later broken up into the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Following his tenure as Chief Justice, he served as the one-man commission that examined the Finance Minister of India, T. T. Krishnamachari, over the controversial Haridas Mundhra LIC insurance scandal, which forced Krishnamachari's resignation as Finance Minister. Krishnamachari was quite close to Nehru, who became intensely angry at Chagla for his revelations of TTK's part in the affair, though he later forgave Chagla. From September 1957 to 1959, Chagla served as ad hoc judge to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

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