Behari Lal Gupta was a member of the Indian Civil Service and a politician.
Behari Lal Gupta was born in Calcutta. His parents were Chandrasekhar Gupta and Rajeshwari. Rajeshwari was the elder sister of Narendranath Sen, editor of the Indian Mirror.
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In England, he joined University College, London. He passes the Open Competitive Service Examinations to become the third Indian to join the Indian Civil Service in 1869.
Behari Lal held Degrees of Honour in Sanskrit and Persian. On 6th June 1871, he was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of Middle Temple. He was a member of the Brahmo Sammilan Samaj in Bhowanipore, Calcutta.
Behari Lal became the first Indian Chief Presidency Magistrate and Coroner of Calcutta in 1872. This appointment sparked a serious debate on the legitimacy of an Indian civilian being appointed to such a senior position in the British Indian administration, leading to the Ilbert Bill controversy of 1883.
He was also a District and Sessions Judge, Remembrancer and Superintendent of Legal Affairs, Bengal, Member, Bengal Legislative Council, and finally a Judge (offtg.) of the High Court of Calcutta from where he retired in 1907.
After retirement, he was appointed as Law and Justice Member in Baroda in 1909 and then Dewan in 1912. In 1914, he traveled with His Highness, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, Maharaja of Baroda to Europe. He was appointed CSI in the 1914 New Year Honours. He breathed his last in 1916 in Calcutta.
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