SC dismisses plea to change India’s name to ‘Bharat’ [Read Order]

SC dismisses plea to change India’s name to ‘Bharat’ [Read Order]

A Division Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday reportedly dismissed a Public Interest Litigation demanding the change of the country’s name from India to Bharat. CJI Thakur opined that the decision to call the country Bharat or India should be left to the citizens of the country.

The Bench, also comprising Justice U.U. Lalit, rapped the petitioner for bringing emotional issues to the Court, in the garb of filing a Public Interest Litigation. “The PIL is for poor people. You think we have nothing else to do,” it observed.

When insisted upon to hear the Government’s response on the plea, CJI Thakur shot back saying, “What response? There is no need for any response... we are not inclined to intervene in this matter and there is no question of any responses, that's it.”

The petition had been filed by Mr. Niranjan Bhatwal, claiming that there is no historical evidence that our country was ever called India. The plea had prayed that the Government (Central and State), NGOs and even Corporates be restrained from using the name ‘India’ for any Government or non-Government purposes. Mr. Bhatwal had referred to the Constituent Assembly Debates in order to point out that the significant names that were suggested for our country were Bharat, Hindustan, Hind, Bharatbhumi or Bharatvarsh.

“The country has one principal name, which is historically significant, that is ‘Bharat’. The first Article of the Constitution of India states that ‘India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States’, implicitly codifying ‘Bharat’ name for the Republic of India,” the petition had further contended. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

A similar PIL filed by Mr. Bhatwal had been dismissed by the Supreme Court in November, 2014, when he was asked by the Court to first approach the Centre, after which he could move the Court again, in case he was not satisfied with the Centre’s response. You may read the LiveLaw article here.

Read the order here.