New Bill to be placed on renaming of Calcutta, Madras, Bombay HCs

The Tamil Nadu government has asked the Centre to rename the Madras High Court as �High Court of Tamil Nadu�, instead of �High Court of Chennai�, as proposed in the Bill

New Bill to be placed on renaming of Calcutta, Madras, Bombay HCs

The name of ‘Madras High Court’ to ‘Chennai High Court’ may not be changed as of now, as a Bill moved in this regard has run into trouble and the revised one has to be introduced in the Parliament.

The High Court (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 19, to allow the names of the Calcutta, Madras and Bombay High Courts to be changed to Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai, respectively.

Later, the Tamil Nadu government asked the Centre to rename the Madras High Court as ‘High Court of Tamil Nadu’, instead of ‘High Court of Chennai’, as proposed in the Bill.

PP Choudhary, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Justice, in a written reply in the LS said, “The Central government had sought views from the state governments concerned and the respective high courts for finalising a fresh Bill. No time frame can be fixed for finalising of the fresh Bill and its introduction in Parliament.”

He also said that the old Bill has to be revised and a new Bill introduced.

Earlier in August, former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa had moved the resolution to change name of 'Madras High Court' to 'Tamil Nadu High Court' instead of 'Chennai High Court' as proposed by the Centre.

“Naming the High Court of Judicature at Madras as Tamil Nadu High Court will be most appropriate," Jayalalithaa had said, moving the resolution.

"This House urges the Union government to alter the name from Chennai HC, proposed in the Bill, introduced in Parliament to Tamil Nadu HC," the resolution said, adding "It will be correct to call the High Court as Tamil Nadu High Court, which is presently being called as Madras High Court."

Giving reasons for seeking the change, the resolution pointed out that the High courts situated in other states take the respective names of such states, which were formed on linguistic basis in 1956.

The resolution was passed unanimously in the House and all parties, including the opposition DMK, welcomed the resolution moved by the Chief Minister. Soon after the resolution was passed, Jayalalithaa also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to take immediate action in this regard.

However, names of Calcutta and Bombay HCs also will remain the same until a new bill has been introduced.

While the West Bengal government wants the Calcutta High Court to be renamed as Kolkata High Court, the high court itself has “not agreed for revised nomenclature”.

The Calcutta High Court has the distinction of being the first high court and one of the three chartered high courts to be set up in India, along with the high courts of Bombay and Madras. It was formally opened on July 1, 1862.

The Bombay High Court was inaugurated on August 14, 1862. It has three benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa.

Bombay HC is one of a few institutions in Maharashtra that continue to carry the old name of the city. The state government renamed Bombay as Mumbai in 1995 and all institutions under it altered names, accordingly.

The Madras High Court, which came into being around the same time, has one bench in Madurai.