SC junks plea to rename India as Bharat, asks Centre to consider it as representation

Updated on Jun 03, 2020 08:47 PM IST

In the two petitions, filed by separate individuals, there was one common thread: The names being sought to be changed - India and Bombay HC – were relics of the British Raj, according to the petitioners.

The Supreme Court of India(Amal KS HT Photo)
The Supreme Court of India(Amal KS HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAbraham Thomas |Edited by Anubha Rohatgi

There were two petitions in the Supreme Court on Wednesday regarding change in names –one that of the country and the other of a high court. Dismissing the plea to replace India with Bharat in the Constitution, the apex court chose to send the petition to the Centre for consideration. In the second matter - to rename Bombay High Court as the High Court of Maharashtra – it issued a notice to the central government seeking its response.

In the two petitions, filed by separate individuals, there was one common thread: The names being sought to be changed - India and Bombay HC – were relics of the British Raj, according to the petitioners.

Namah, the petitioner in the first case, asserted that the name “Bharat” instilled national pride while the “India” is of Greek origin.

“Now the time is ripe to recognise the country by its original and authentic name Bharat, especially when our cities have been renamed to identify with the Indian ethos,” the Delhi resident said in his plea.

However, the three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by CJI SA Bobde, which was hearing the matter through video-conferencing, wasn’t convinced by it. Saying that Article 1 of Indian Constitution already states that “India that is Bharat”, the apex court dismissed the plea, instead choosing to send it as a representation for the concerned central ministries to consider.

The second petition regarding name change was filed by VP Patil, a retired judicial officer from Maharashtra, asking for Bombay High Court to be renamed as the High Court of Maharashtra.

Patil cited Clause 4(1) of Maharashtra (Adaptation of Laws-State and Concerned Subjects) Order, 1960 which substitutes “High Court of Bombay” with “High Court of Maharashtra”. According to the petition, the coinage of Bombay High Court dates back to British Raj when British Parliament passed the Indian High Courts Act in 1861 naming the three High Courts in India after the name of their respective States – Madras, Calcutta and Bombay.

Patil, who filed the plea through his advocate Shivaji M Jadhav, said the concerned authorities in other states should also be directed to change the names of their high courts as per the name of the states where they are located.

The apex court asked the Centre, governments of Maharashtra and Goa and Registrar General of the Bombay High Court seeking their responses on the petition.

(With inputs from PTI)

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