A commemorative postage stamp on MC Chagla, Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court (1947-58) :
Issued on Oct 1, 2004
Issued for : The Department of Posts is proud to honour the memory of Justice M.C. Chagla.
Design Credits :
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Print Quantity : 0.6 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Mahommedali Currim Chagla
Born on Sep 30, 1900 at Mumbai, India
Died on Feb 9, 1981 at Mumbai, India
- Jurist, judge, educationist, diplomat, Union Cabinet Minister and statesman, M.C. Chagla was a multifaceted genius. Born on September 30, 1900 and educated at Bombay’s Saint Xavier’s School and Lincoln College, Oxford, England, he went on to practice Law and subsequently became the Chief Justice of the High Court of Bombay. He taught law at the Government Law College, Bombay and later became the Vice Chancellor of Bombay University. He served as a Member of the Law Commission and was ad-hoc judge of the International Court of Justice at the Hague. He was Governor of Bombay for a short spell and was India’s Ambassador to the USA for 3 years and High Commissioner for India in the UK for a year.
- As a Member of the Indian Cabinet, first as Minister of Education and later of External Affairs, he headed the Indian Delegation to the Security Council Debate on Kashmir in 1964, to the Commonwealth Education Conference, Ottawa (1964), to the General Conference of UNESCO (1964) and to the UN General Assembly (1964). He was the honorary recipient of Doctor of Law from several Universities in India and abroad. He was also given the UNESCO Award for distinguished services to Human Rights in 1978. His published works include the Indian Constitution; Law, Liberty and Life; The Individual and the State; An Ambassador Speaks; Education and the Nation; Unity and Language and his Autobiography, ‘Roses in December’.
- His life symbolised intellectual integrity, unfailing courtesy and kindliness, simplicity and humanity the hallmark of Justice Chagla and his work. His judgements were based on quality and justice. No disparaging or sarcastic remarks ever escaped his lips.
- He left his mark not only in the court of Law, but as a connoisseur of art, a fascinating public speaker and a person as deeply interested in literature as in law. On the enactment of the Constitution of India in 1950, problems without precedence were placed before Courts of Law for solution. Justice Chagla brought to these problems a balance between the rule of law and the liberty of the individual. The ideal he set before himself was that “Men must be prepared to sacrifice their individual liberty for social happiness; but for no other consideration, for nothing short of this, can liberty be called upon to make a sacrifice”. This was the ideal which he himself achieved, starting work at the Bar as “a lonely, friendless figure, without any support from solicitors at that stage, and without the support of wealth or influence”. It was this unflinching courage which led him to criticise the imposition of the Emergency, defending the independence of the judiciary and democracy.
- Justice Chagla earned abiding respect and affection of those whose lives he touched.