The High Court at Calcutta, formerly known as the High Court of Judicature at Fort William, was brought into existence by the Letters Patent dated 14th May, 1862, issued under the High Court's Act, 1861, which provided that the jurisdiction and powers of the High Court were to be defined by Letters Patent. The High Court of Judicature at Fort William was formally opened on 1st July, 1862, with Sir Barnes Peacock as its first Chief Justice. Appointed on 2nd February, 1863, Justice Sumboo Nath Pandit was the first Indian to assume office as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court, followed by legal luminaries such as Justice Dwarka Nath Mitter, Justice Ramesh Chandra Mitter, Sir Chunder Madhab Ghosh, Sir Gooroodas Banerji, Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee and Justice P.B. Chakravartti who was the first Indian to become a permanent Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.
The Calcutta High Court has the distinction of being the first High Court and one of the three Chartered High Courts to be set up in India, along with the High Courts of Bombay, Madras.