Other States

Notice to U.P. government on Allahabad name change

Plea in Supreme Court challenges the action

The Supreme Court has asked the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh to explain its decision to change the name of Allahabad district to ‘Prayagraj.’

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday on an appeal filed by the Allahabad Heritage Society and others, all represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Shadan Farasat.

The name-change happened in a matter of five days in October 2018. There was no evidence to back the government’s claim that it was done with public support. The government had claimed that Prayag was one of the 14 religious places in the ancient texts and the only one whose name was changed to ‘Allahabad.’ However, there is no material to support this claim.

Thirdly, the petition said the Adityanath government believed that the earlier name-change from Prayagraj to Allahabad had led to “confusion” among the national and international communities. The October 2018 decision to revert to Prayagraj has put an end to this confusion.

The appeal said the Allahabad High Court rejected their plea on the ground that the State has the authority to alter the name of any revenue area under the Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code of 2006. But the fact was the State government was required under two Central notifications of September 11, 1953 and May 27, 1981 to get prior concurrence of the Centre to change the name of a district. This was not done here.

Again, the State only had power of administration and revenue over land areas under Schedule VII of the Constitution. It could not change the names of the areas for “non-administrative reasons.” The appeal argued there were no “compelling reasons” for the State government to have changed the name.

“Prayag was the place of confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, which was a holy site of pilgrimage. Allahabad was a city established away from this site of pilgrimage. The site continues to be called Prayag,” the appeal said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 2:33:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/notice-to-up-government-on-allahabad-name-change/article30609590.ece

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