The High Courts of Madras, Bombay, and possibly Calcutta, are set to shed the old names of their cities and adopt the new ones — Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata, respectively.
The Union Cabinet Tuesday approved a Law Ministry proposal for changing the names of the high courts in these cities.
The government release communicating the decision mentions Madras High Court and Bombay High Court, but Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad later told reporters that the Calcutta High Court, too, would undergo change of name.
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The names will be changed through an Act of Parliament. The proposal of the department of justice in the Law Ministry is to bring a Bill — the High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 — to rename the two high courts established in the 1860s under the Indian High Court Act, 1861.
“The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 will facilitate the changing of the names of Bombay High Court as Mumbai High Court and Madras High Court as Chennai High Court, respectively,” the government release said.
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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.
Sources said that the government had earlier planned to vest the President with powers to rename a high court in consultation with the Governor, Chief Minister and Chief Justice of that state. But the idea has been dropped.