CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu State Assembly on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution moved by the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, urging the Centre to change the name of Madras High Court to Tamil Nadu High Court instead of Chennai High Court as proposed.
The Chief Minister also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to amend the High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016, introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 19 to change the names of the High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras and annexed a copy of the resolution with the communication.
The leaders of all parties in the Assembly, including opposition parties the DMK, Congress and IUML, welcomed the move.
Moving the resolution, the Chief Minister said that since the jurisdiction of the Madras High Court would cover the entire Tamil Nadu and not Chennai alone, naming it as Tamil Nadu High Court would be more appropriate than Chennai High Court. Further, the High Courts in other States had been called by the names of the States concerned, she pointed out. The proposed name change was debated in the TN Assembly following an overwhelming public opinion in the State, said Jayalalithaa, tracing the history of how Madras State became Tamil Nadu in 1969. “As the High Court, presently known as the High Court of Madras, has a Bench functioning at Madurai, it would not be appropriate to name the court which has jurisdiction over the whole of TN as the Chennai High Court,” the resolution said.
In her resolution calling for the Madras High Court to be renamed as the Tamil Nadu High Court, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa pointed out that the Madras High Court was set up in 1892 on the basis of a gazette notification issued by Queen Victoria following the enactment of The Indian High Courts Act, 1861. The court had jurisdiction over the erstwhile Madras State which comprised Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
“It would be inappropriate to address Madras High Court in the same name even today as its christening was based on a notification issued by the British Queen. Since Madras was renamed as Chennai in 1996, a proposal was sent to the Central government in 1997 to change the name of the High Court of Judicature at Madras as High Court of Judicature at Chennai. Now, the Central government has introduced the High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 to change the names of High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras,” added the resolution calling for the renaming of the High Court..