The Tamil Nadu Assembly on 1 August 2016 unanimously passed a resolution to rename the Madras High Court as the Tamil Nadu High Court. The resolution on the matter was moved by Chief Minister J Jayalalitha as most of the High Courts established after the formation of new states based on linguistic lines have been named after the states only.
The resolution was presented in light of the High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on 19 July 2016.
She said the Madras High Court has jurisdiction over the entire state and therefore it is necessary to change the name as the Tamil Nadu High Court.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa also recalled the fact that the renaming of Madras as Chennai was made in 1996, but averred that the name refers only to the specific city whereas the High Court is meant for the whole state.
The demand of renaming the High Court remained dormant since the state got the name Tamil Nadu in 1967. The demand came active in the state after the introduction of the Bill in the Lok Sabha that wants to change the names of Madras, Bombay and Culcatta High Courts.
High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shanker Prasad with an aim to modify the names of the High Court’s (HCs) of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
Alteration of names of the HCs: The High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras will be known as the High Courts of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai respectively.
Government to modify relevant laws: In order to give effect to the alteration of names of the three High Courts, the appropriate government will have the power to amend or repeal any laws. This must be done within one year of the coming into force of this Act.
Legal proceedings: Any pending legal proceedings against the High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta or Madras as parties will now be substituted with the high courts of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
The decision was taken in light of the name change of the cities where these high courts are located.
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Where: Tamil Nadu Assembly
When: 1 August 2016