NEW DELHI: A PIL on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to rename the country from ‘India/Bharat’ to ‘Bharat/Hindustan’ while another one sought rechristening of Bombay High Court to Maharashtra HC.
A bench of CJI S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy asked how the court could change the name from India to Bharat/Hindustan and pointed out that Article 1 of the Constitution provides that India would also be known as Bharat. But petitioner Namah’s counsel Raj Kishor Choudhary said ‘India’ was of Greek origin, and hence must be discarded.
Choudhary said the country’s freedom struggle was fought with the slogan “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and hence it would be appropriate to name the country as Bharat or Hindustan, the latter being a popular reference to the country by its citizens. The court dismiss the plea and asked the petitioners to send it as a representation to the Centre.
In it order disposing of the writ petition, the bench said, “The present petition is directed to be treated as a representation and may be considered by the appropriate ministries.” This means, the issue stays alive and if the Centre does not act or rejects the representation, the petitioner could move the SC again.
Though the sensitive constitutional tangle of renaming India as ‘Bharat/Hindustan’ was tossed into the domain of the Union government, the CJI-led bench agreed to entertain a PIL by V P Patil seeking renaming the historical Bombay High Court, which was one of the three HCs set up nearly 160 years ago in the Presidency towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Shivaji Jadav said under Article 214 of the Constitution, every state was to have an HC. The SC issued notices to the Centre and Maharashtra government seeking their response.
Jadav said several HCs were named after the states but Maharashtra was denied this. The petitioner said Maharashtra Adaptation of Laws (State and Concurrent Subjects) Order, 1960, provided for substitution of the words ‘HC of Bombay’ to “HC of Maharashtra’. “The cultural assertion of Maharashtrians remains in jeopardy by not renaming a public institution like the High Court of Bombay,” he said.
Bombay was renamed as Mumbai in 1995. A bill was introduced in 2016 for renaming the three HCs of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras as HCs of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. But the bill has lapsed.

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