Justice H K Chainani – Biography
Hashmatrai Khubchand Chainani
Chief Justice of Bombay High Court
29 February stands as the symbol of leap year, an year with additional day, Hashmatrai Khubchand Chainani, who was born on 29 February 1904 at Hyderabad Sindh, a sindhi with traditional community quality of love and courage to stand for justice, is remembered for additional quality of justice enriched with mercy and attitude of readiness for scarifying to fulfill the passion for serving the society. After having early education was completed at Hyderabad he was admitted to Karachi's famous D J Sindh College. He complete his graduation from Magdolene College at Cambridge England by acquiring degree of B.A. in Natural Science Tripos.
After graduation in 1925 H K Chainani opted to go for the I.C.S. Examination of 1926 and his hard work and intelligence was resulted in bring the flying colours for him. In the 1927 on returning back to India, Hashmatrai was appointed as Assistant collector in revenue department at Sholapur and has served at Nasik and Pune in same capacity. These administrative assignments were unable to satisfy his passion for justice fortunately he got appointment as as Assistant Judges at Poona in 1933 and in very short span of time was promoted to post of District and Sessions Judge at Sholapur. He has also worked as Secretary to the Bombay Legislative Council and Assistant Legal Remembrancer.
In the year 1944 H K Chainani become part of the Government of Bombay, as Joint Secretary of Home Department. Very shortly he was transferred as Deputy Secretary to the Government of India, Home Department. In the year 1948 he was working as Revenue Commissioner when he was promoted a Puisne Judge of the Bombay High Court. He Succeeded M C Chagla in the year 1958 and worked as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court for more than a decade. He was succeeded by Y S Tambe in 1965. During these days he was known as the person with passion for justice and his decisions were considered as the symbol of justice without fear and partiality. Though he never seems to be on the side of government when it comes to rights of common citizens but at the same time he was also aware of problems and difficulties of governing so he never made harsh comment on government decisions.
In 1962 he also got chance to work as acting governor of Maharashtra state. During his tenure Western India Advocate Association celebrated their Centenary celebration and the function was presided by him. The speech he made during the function is still remembered as his love and respect for the Bar council.
28 November 1965 brought shocking news of tragic end of life of this true lover of justice and merciful Sindhu Ratan Justice H K Chainani.