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India or Bharat: Supreme Court seeks response from government

India or Bharat: Supreme Court seeks response from government
New Delhi: 'India should be named Bharat', a demand on which the Supreme Court has sought comments from the Centre and the states.

The apex court on Friday decided to examine questions raised on the naming of the country and sought response from the Centre on the plea demanding change in the name from 'India' to 'Bharat'. A bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra also issued notice to all state governments and union territories on the PIL which called for restraining the Centre from using the name of India for any government purposes and in official papers.

The petition filed by Niranjan Bhatwal, claiming to be a social activist from Maharashtra, said that even the non- government organisations and corporates should be directed to use 'Bharat' for all official and unofficial purposes.
The PIL said in the Constituent Assembly, the prominent suggestions for naming the country were "Bharat, Hindustan, Hind and Bharatbhumi or Bharatvarsh and names of that kind".

Among the various questions raised in the PIL were whether insertion of India in Article 1 of the Constitution was just for reference, in order to repeal the Government of India Act 1935, and the Indian Independence Act 1947, wherein this country had been referred to as India, and sought to be repealed by Article 395 of the Constitution? Further, it asked whether insertion of 'India' was mere referential for de-jure recognition of the country by countries of other parts of the world for diplomatic purposes.

The PIL also said whether Hindi language excerpts of Article 1 Clause 1 of the Constitution denotes the same meaning, as it denotes in the English language of the Constitution in relation to establish the name of the country.

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