A Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde has issued notice on a plea challenging the decision of Uttar Pradesh Government to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
The petition challenges the judgment of Allahabad delivered on February 26, 2019 which had dismissed a PIL filed against the decision to rename Allahabad. The High Court observed that a mere name change of the city will not affect public interest. The HC also said that it cannot interfere with the policy decision of the government.
Earlier Justice Ashok Bhushan had recused from hearing this petition.
Apart from challenging the notification issued in this regard on the ground of procedural violations, the petitioner had contended that the move to rename the city is contrary to the secular ethos of the Constitution, and runs contrary to the spirit of composite culture.
The plea filed through Advocate Shadan Farasat stated :
""Allahabad' has been associated with the City for over more than 400 years. The name now is not merely the name of a place but has become inextricably linked with the identity of the City and all its people irrespective of their religion. It forms part of the day to day lived cultural experience of the residents of the City and the Districts of Allahabad …
… Name changes per-se are an assault on this lived cultural experience which is associated with a City, Place, etc. For instance, although the name of 'Connaught Place' has been changed to Rajiv Chowk many years back, the people of the City of Delhi always refers in their day to day conversation to the place as Connaught Place only…"
The petitioner contends that the name change was effected without following regular process laid down under relevant executive instu
"The 1953 and 1981 notifications together make clear that names of historical places should not be changed as far as possible and for a change of name to be allowed as long as the following guidelines are fulfilled:
1. detailed reasons should be given for changing the name and for providing a new name
2. Special and compelling reasons must also be provided
3. Names should not be changed on the ground of local patriotism
4. care should be taken to see that there is no village or town etc. of the same name in the State and neighborhood which might lead to confusion.
The impugned proposal of the State Government does not satisfy any of the four conditions mentioned."
Click Here To Read the Petition