The Justice with an Impact!

Prabha Shankar Mishra

“A great man is made up of qualities that meet or make great occasions”— James Russel Lowell.

Prabha Shankar MishraHe was indeed a man of great qualities who created a niche of his own and made a lasting impact on many who came across him. He was my uncle, my father’s elder brother, Late Justice Prabha Shankar Mishra, the former Chief justice of Hyderabad and Kolkatta High Courts.

Though he was a public figure and an inspiration for many, for me he was my very own ‘bade Babuji’ (as I used to call him). Being born and brought up in a small town (Chhapra, Bihar), it was not that easy for him to find the ways he had chosen for himself because of his keen interest in literature and poetry, despite being a Masters of Science and his LLB degree. He used to write for various magazines and newspapers of the then times and even recited his poems on all-India-radio.

He was the first editor-in-chief of the famous Hindi weekly ‘Pratyaksh’, who himself edited and published Phanishwar Nath Renu’s famous short story ‘Mare Gaye Gulfam’ which was later picturized as ‘Teesri Kaasam’. But his father, a famous advocate  and a freedom fighter himself, wanted him to earn his name as a successful and respectable person but not as a struggling writer. So, he was abandoned from home and all the facilities of that well-to-do family was taken away from him and he was being told to earn his bread of his own.

That incident made the greatest impact of hurt on the emotional poet and he promised his father not to show his face until he would become a successful advocate. Within 5 years, he became able to create that impact of being the most respectable, noted, popular and successful advocate at Patna high court. During his law practice, he was being recognized as a social thinker and implemented his prowess to empower underprivileged.

He had got the most of fame and recognition in 1973 when he fought the much talked about criminal court case of that time against IAS Naagmani for killing his wife. Naagmani case was one of the most famous court cases in the legal history of India. It was the milestone court case of his carrier which proved his mettle as the most compatible, honorable and knowledgeable advocate in the law fraternity.

Later in 1980, he took the oath as a high-court judge at Patna High court and made the most impact as justice par excellence. Famous for his decision making powers and instant justice, he, many a times, implemented his judicial right by arranging court rooms even on the streets to reinforce law to help needy and underprivileged. I still remember an incident when he managed the chaotic traffic jam at Patna’s famous bailey road with the help of his personal guards and said to people there that it was his responsibility being a savior of India’s law and security.

A social reformer, Justice Prabha Shankar Mishra
A social reformer, Justice Prabha Shankar Mishra

Once, he turned a girl’s personal letter to him into a legal petition in which she pleaded to be rescued from an abusive married life and took legal actions against her husband without even calling the girl to the court. That time he was the chief justice of Hyderabad high court. And, his unique way to create impact on people’s life by granting justice to that needy girl is still remembered by the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Prabha Shankar Mishra
The magazine cutting of the historical Hyderabad High Court judgement implemented by Justice Prabha Shankar Mishra

Later, he was posted as the chief justice of Kolkatta high court in 1997 from where he resigned from the post of Honorable Chief Justice in 1998 because he didn’t want to lose his impact on people’s life of being recognized as a workaholic. He wanted to die while working hard and making a change in people’s life so he again started practicing law in Supreme Court, where he created one of his most powerful impact(s) by granting free legal aid for the needy and deprived.

He breathed his last on first July 2012 at his Hyderabad residence in Jubilee Hills and left behind him his impact on us, his family to stand strong despite all the adversities of life. Not only the Mishra family, but also those innumerable people still get inspired from him to work hard and leave their impact on others with their good deeds, sense of justice by adding smiles to others lives.


— Sangeeta Mishra

  • Aditya

    Indeed,Justice shri P.S Mishra was a great lawyer and Judge.I know many things about him personally,as my family had old connection with him.Justice P.S Mishra started as a junior counsel 2 my grandfather(Justice S.K. Jha -ex CJ,Patna and MP high courts) in his early days if practice.After that ,my uncle started his career as a junior of shri p.s. mishra.

    • I’m so glad you’ve come across to my post Aditya. It’s my pleasure to know about your associations with the great soul and other relevant information about him. And yes, I know about your grandfather Justice Sushil Kumar Jha, 1989. I’m I right? Thank you so much for your valuable comment. 🙂

  • Bhaskar Mishra

    Proud to say he is my grand pa

    • Really! Glad to meet you! Well, being a member of his family all I know that he had left behind 4 grand daughters only. Other than them he had 2 great nieces (my daughters) and 3 great nephews ( my nephews). Only this much kids are there in the family. I’m surprised how come I’m not aware if you! 🙁

      • Bhaskar Mishra

        He had brother and cousins like dayashankar mishra and in Lt Mr vagish Narayana mishra family
        Lt yogeshwar dutta mishra, Shankar San dutta mishra, Lt sureshwar dutta mishra, Lt karuneshwar dutta mishra.
        If they are my grand pa den y can’t I call him my grand pa

        • Correction…. Then you should call him Granduncle, not grandpa. Well I’m glad that you are well-mannered to out the preface Lt. before the names of all the departed souls. But why only one name(

          • Bhaskar Mishra

            Hmm I admit . It was my mistake bt my grand pa Shri Shankar dutta mishra is still here with me in kolkata

          • Still I would say that you are a ruthless, manner-less, arrogant kid who doesn’t even know to apologize after such disrespect towards heavenly souls. At least I was expecting a correction and a proper SORRY for disrespecting my father on my blog.
            Moreover, if you are so interested in the family tree, let me tell you that my grand father Late Pdt. Vasudev Narayan Mishra had only one brother Lt. Pdt. Samdev Narayan Mishra and your Great Grand father was his cousin, so technically Lt. Justice P.S.Mishra was the 3rd cousin of your grandpa. I have checked and rechecked the facts from the elders of the family.
            So, from now on wards I would expect you to learn from the heavenly soul as to respect elders rather than taking credits for their name and fame. Learn how to comment on social forum. Best of luck. 🙂

  • Avinash Mishra

    This is the best tribute to Uncle. It was really an inspiring story that depicts the characteistic of a person.
    His dedication for his duty and true judgement in the society inspires me a lot. It was good and healthy reading mam.

    Super post on TSS.

    Loved the reading and my salute to the hero of justice.

    • Thank you so much Avinash. Indeed he was the most inspiring person I’d come across. I’m blessed to being born in his family. And this one’s a quite heart-felt tribute to him.
      Thanks a lot for appreciating. 🙂

  • Purba Chakraborty

    This is a wonderful tribute to a noble soul. Beautifully written 🙂

    • Thank you so much Purba. Glad that you liked this tribute. Means a lot dear. 🙂 <3

  • Chaitali Bhattacharjee

    Very aptly put. The real hero and their efforts to be asserted.

    • Thank you so much Chaitali. Glad that you liked this tribute. Means a lot. 🙂

  • This is an inspirational post Sangeeta ji, to know about Lt. Justice Prabha Shankar Mishra is a great thing. A person who lived for the sake of society will be remembered always, death won’t be any shade on them. Thank you for sharing about him and the impact made by him. 🙂

    • As always I was awaiting your comment in this special tribute post of mine. Your views on my post surely matters me the most. Thanks Prasanna for reading all the posts so carefully without missing any minute details. Means much. 🙂

  • Rajeev Moothedath

    A wonderful tribute to not only an uncle but a noble soul as we can see from this post!

    • Thank you so much. Glad that you liked this tribute. Means a lot. 🙂