Supreme Court, Bombay HC
Supreme Court, Bombay HC
Litigation News

Supreme Court seeks replies from Centre, state in plea to rename Bombay High Court as "High Court of Maharashtra"

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today sought replies in a plea seeking the renaming of the Bombay High Court as the High Court of Maharashtra. (VP patil vs UOI - Supreme Court Order)

The petition moved by VP Patil, a retired labour court judge from Mumbai, was taken up for hearing through video conferencing by the Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy today.

AS Bopanna, CJI SA Bobde, Hrishikesh roy
AS Bopanna, CJI SA Bobde, Hrishikesh roy

The Court sought from replies from the Centre, the State of Maharashtra, and the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court. The Goa government has also been arrayed as a respondent in this plea, given that the Bombay High Court has a Bench in Goa.

The petitioner has stated that he chose to approach the Apex Court over the issue since the Bombay High Court is a party to the present petition. He has prayed for a direction for the Bombay High Court to be renamed as the “High Court of Maharashtra.”

The petition states that after the city of "Bombay" was renamed as "Mumbai", in 2016, the High Court (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 was introduced in Parliament seeking to change of the name of the ‘High Court of Judicature at Bombay' to the 'High Court of Judicature at Mumbai.' However, it was submitted, the aforesaid Bill lapsed due to lack of consensus between the states.

Pointing out that High Courts are generally named after the state itself, the petition contends that the Bombay High Court should be rechristened as the High Court of Maharashtra. This is essential for the purpose of maintaining uniformity with respect to the names of High Courts, it is stated.

The plea additionally argues that since the Bombay High Court is a governmental authority, its nomenclature should reflect the same.

Further, it is claimed that the matter involves the assertion of Maharashtrian/Maratha identity and pride. The usage of the word “Maharashtra” while referring to the High Court is a means to fructify the dignity of a Maharashtrian, it is stated.

"...the assertion of the word 'Maharashtra' denotes special significance in the life of Maharashtrian... its usage must also find expression in the name of the High Court as an expression of cultural and right to heritage as protected under Articles 19, 21, 29 of the Constitution of India."
Petition filed in Supreme Court

Apart from urging for directions to rename the Bombay High Court as the High Court of Maharashtra, the petitioner also prays that the names of other High Courts in the country be changed to reflect the states in which they are located.

The petition was filed through Advocate Shivaji M Jadhav.

Read Order:

VP patil vs UOI - SC Order.pdf
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