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Naming High Courts

Long back in January 2015, Central government had initiated move to rename High Courts of Bombay and Madras according to change in name cities i.e. Mumbai and Chennai. But so far names have not been changed even though names of cities were changed decades back. Even there was no move to rename High Court of Calcutta as High Court of Kolkata. These names should be changed with a provision of auto-change of names of High Courts with change in name of cities or states as the case may be.

It is significant that except for these three High Courts in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata respectively, all other High Courts are named after states of their jurisdiction. An RTI response had revealed that while all the High Court’s constituted after independence were named after respective main states of jurisdiction, these three High Courts constituted by British regime in pre-independence era continue to be named as per British legacy on basis of cities of their existence even after 70 long years of independence.

Union government should end the British legacy by renaming Bombay, Madras and Calcutta High Courts now as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal High Courts respectively to bring uniformity in system of naming High Courts after names of states rather than on particular cities. Proposed legislation should incorporate feature that names of High Courts may be automatically changed with change in name of states (or cities) without needing any legislation.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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