I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was:

An NCLAT bench, headed by Chairman Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya, said he would like to.....

I think "it" should be used instead of "he" the because bench is the subject in the sentence not the Chairman.

  • Please provide the sentence before this one, as well as the rest of this sentence. (Or a link to the article.) Without context, it's not possible to say what he is a referent for. – Jason Bassford Apr 19 at 5:07

"Bench", like "chair", sometimes refers to a person's title, and not the physical object that people sit on. Obviously when used in this way, it's not the bench making the statement but rather the person assigned to sit on that official piece of furniture.

In many cases the title should be capitalized to distinguish the proper noun, but this is not always the case. For example:

The chair moved to postpone a vote until the following month, in order, she said, to allow more time for investigation.

In some fanciful stories inanimate objects do talk, but even then they're often assigned genders and referred to as "he" or "she" rather than "it".

  • Or—the NCLAT bench (like a board of directors) was talking about a particular person (he) who was mentioned in a previous sentence. This one sentence (and not even the whole sentence has been quoted) may simply not make any sense on its own. We really need more context. – Jason Bassford Apr 19 at 5:03
  • Also, note that this can't be the correct answer—unless the sentence is simply ungrammatical. If it were the title of a person, it's not possible that the person could be headed by somebody. You would never say the chair of the department, headed by X. It's the chair who is the head of the department. – Jason Bassford Apr 19 at 5:09

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