The Law Ministry has proposed a Bill over changing the names of High Courts including Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, as per the present names of the cities “Mumbai” and “Chennai”. The mentioned cities changed from their colonial names to the new ones in the ‘90s, but the high courts had not switched. So far, only two courts have agreed to the move.
Almost 20 years after the city of ‘Madras’ became ‘Chennai’ and ‘Bombay’ became ‘Mumbai’, the High Courts in both the cities will finally adopt the names by an act of Parliament during the coming monsoon session. The Law Ministry has prepared a Cabinet note on a Bill changing the names of the High Courts that are following old names of the cities.
As per ministry sources, not only the state governments but also the High Courts have to be in accord with the name change as it involves technical issues regarding statute books and the fact that the courts, especially the three presidency courts of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta, were established under the Indian High Court Act of 1861.
A law ministry source said, “We have received concurrence from both the State governments and the two courts. We had earlier thought that vesting the President of India with the powers to change the names of the high courts through an executive order would simplify matters, but that did not seem feasible. Therefore, in the last six months, we have drafted a Bill that changes the name of these two high courts”.
However, the third presidency High Court in Calcutta will have to wait awhile for its own name change to ‘Kolkata High Court’ as the court is yet to give its consent.