"India is already called Bharat in Constitution": SC refuses to entertain plea for name change, allows it to be treated as representation
Litigation News

"India is already called Bharat in Constitution": SC refuses to entertain plea for name change, allows it to be treated as representation

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a petition filed for changing the name of India to Bharat, while allowing it to be treated as a representation before the concerned Union ministries.

[Namah vs UOI (Name change from India to Bharat PIL)]

[Namah vs UOI - Supreme Court Order]

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde with Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy asked the petitioner's counsel why he had approached the Court, since the Constitution itself says that India is also called Bharat.

AS Bopanna, CJI SA Bobde, Hrishikesh roy
AS Bopanna, CJI SA Bobde, Hrishikesh roy
"But India is already called Bharat in the Constitution."
Supreme Court

Counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Aswin Vaish, argued that the name 'India' was derived from the Greek word "Indica", and said that the change in name was sought to the exclusion of "India".

"The name India has been sought to be excluded. It has not been derived from within India, it is a name of Greek origin derived from the word “indica”."
Counsel for the petitioner

When the Court intimated its disinclination to entertain the petition, counsel urged for allowing the petition to be treated as representation before the concerned Ministry, which was allowed by the Court.

The present petition is directed to be treated as a representation and may be considered by the appropriate Ministries.
The Supreme Court said in its order

The petition had stated that the time had come to recognize the country by her "original and authentic name", which is "Bharat", particularly considering that many cities within the country have seen a name change to identify with the "Indian" ethos.

This name change, according to the petitioner, is pertinent to ensure that the citizens of the country get over the colonial past. The removal of English names may be symbolic, he says, adding that it will "instill a sense of pride in our own nationality."

"The word INDIA being replaced with BHARAT, would justify the hard fought freedom by our ancestors."
Petition filed in Supreme Court

It is also the claim of the petitioner that it is the duty of the government, which is "State" under the purview of Article 12, towards its citizens to amend Article 1 to change the country's name. Further, the fundamental right under Article 21 which "entitles every citizen the equal right to call his/her own country BHARAT", is also invoked by the petitioner.

The petition was filed through Advocate Raj Kishor Choudhary.

Read Petition:

Namah vs UOI (Name change from India to Bharat PIL).pdf
Preview

Read Order:

Namah vs UOI - SC Order.pdf
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