What’s In A Name? Allahabad HC Dispels Objection To Term ‘Anti-Romeo Squad’ [Read Judgment]

What’s In A Name? Allahabad HC Dispels Objection To Term ‘Anti-Romeo Squad’ [Read Judgment]


At times, a fascinating and inspiring name is used like an advertisement so that the caption of the words dwells on every tongue, the bench said.


The Allahabad High Court has again dismissed a public interest litigation that raised objection to the name ‘Anti-Romeo Squad’, observing that it cannot indulge in argumentative interpretation of a name the government has chosen so as to hold as to whether a name is good or bad.

A bench comprising Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Sanjay Harkauli quoted a part of the famous Shakespearean drama ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to dispel objection to the name.

It said: “In Act II Scene 2 of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as authored by Shakespeare, Romeo recites, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet”. Thus, all this hue and cry about a name, having been used, has been raised without even referring to the context.”

The court said the government might have used the name to make it look more attractive, to make it captivating or also to catch the sentiments of the people and such words are used at times to bring about an influence or create an impression about the purpose for which the name is being used. “A respected name can also be inappropriately used, but it does not necessarily mean that it is with an idea or motive to adversely describe a particular culture or civilization,” the bench said.

The court also observed that it is for curtailment of eve-teasing attitude that has developed in society, leading to a sense of insecurity to women, that the government has taken steps by naming the squad as anti-Romeo squad and this necessarily does not mean that the government or the police is averse to the name and character of Romeo or that Romeo was an eve teaser as understood in today’s context.

Dismissing the PIL, the court further said: “Names have weight with the learned and the uncivil alike, but it is the wise who make an inquiry into the legitimacy of its use. This may be a line of thinking in order to appreciate or criticize the christening of any such activity, which is a public activity in public domain, but such impressions are also subject to fair criticism and a different opinion, but that cannot be made a basis for an argumentative interpretation in a Court of Law so as to hold as to whether a name is good or bad.”

A few days before, a similar PIL was disposed of by the Allahabad High Court directing the Government of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that guidelines were followed by the ‘anti-Romeo’ squads and law is followed.

Read the Judgment here.