India or Bharat? Supreme Court seeks response from Centre, state governments - Alternative Media Forum


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Friday, 24 April 2015

India or Bharat? Supreme Court seeks response from Centre, state governments

New Delhi(web team): A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday demanding that India should be renamed as Bharat as was envisaged by the Constituent Assembly.

A bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra also issued notices to all state governments and Union territories on the PIL which called for restraining the Centre from using the name India for any government communication or in official papers.

The petition filed by Niranjan Bhatwal, a social activist from Maharashtra, said that even the non-government organisations and corporates should be directed to use the name Bharat for all official and unofficial purposes.

The petitioner, through his counsel Ajay G Majithia, said that in the Constituent Assembly, the prominent suggestions for naming the country were "Bharat, Hindustan, Hind and Bharatbhumi or Bharatvarsh and names of that kind".

Among the various questions raised in the PIL were whether insertion of India in Article 1 of the Constitution was just for reference, in order to repeal the Government of India Act 1935, and the Indian Independence Act 1947, wherein this country had been referred to as India, and sought to be repealed by Article 395 of the Constitution? It further asked whether insertion of 'India' was mere referential for de-jure recognition of the country by other nations for diplomatic purposes.

The PIL also said whether Hindi language excerpts of Article 1 Clause 1 of the Constitution denotes the same meaning, as it denotes in the English language of the Constitution in relation to establish the name of the country.

The plea also referred to the proceedings of the drafting committee that prepared the draft constitution that was deliberated by the constituent, the PIL said that "it is crystal clear that the … Constituent Assembly intended to name the country as 'Bharat' and 'India' as is evident from the motion passed on September 18, 1949.

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