Was also designed and built by Sir Bradford Leslie in 1887, and although it does not bulk so largely in the public eye as the Howrah Bridge, it is none the less a work of immense value. In addition to many other advantages it ensures by linking together the two railways, the East Indian and Eastern Bengal, an uninterrupted and continuous flow of an enormous amount of goods traffic from all parts of India direct to the docks and alongside vessels waiting for cargo. Its great importance and utility would have been further and greatly enhanced had Government carried into effect the proposed and long-talked-of scheme of a central station, the site of which, as far as I recollect, was to have been to the north-east of Bentinck Street taking in a portion of Bow Bazaar Street adjoining, and, extending in a northerly direction, parallel to Lower Chitpore
Road. Of course all passenger traffic would have centred there, and every one, leaving for home or up-country, would have driven to the new station, and so have avoided the long unpleasant drive over the bridge to Howrah on the one side and to Sealdah on the other. But like many another proposed scheme that I have heard of in my time in Calcutta it unfortunately all ended in smoke.
H.M.’s COURTS OF JUDICATURE.
Looking back to the time when Warren Hastings ruled over the destinies of Bengal, there were then established in Calcutta two courts, the Supreme Court of Judicature situated on the site of the present High Court, and the Sudder Audalat or Appellate Court which was located in the building at the corner of Bhowanipur Road opposite the Medical Officers’ Quarters which has since been converted into a Hospital for European Soldiers. These courts were still in existence when I arrived in Calcutta. The Supreme Court was ruled over by the Chief Justice, assisted by two Puisne Judges appointed by the Government at Home, who tried all criminal cases as well as civil suits on the original side. The court house was a two-storeyed, white stuccoed building, having much the same kind of appearance as a good-sized private dwelling with a long verandah running the whole length of the south side facing the maidan, supported by rather a conspicuous looking row of white pillars.
[Illustration: Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann High Court, erected 1872.]
[Illustration: Small Cause Court]
The Sudder Audalat was a Court of Appeal for cases sent up from the mofussil, and all the Judges were members of the Indian Civil Service recruited from time to time from the various collectorates in Bengal. When the High Court came into existence in the early sixties the former mentioned court ceased to exist, and automatically became merged into the latter.