The Supreme Court on Monday, January 20, issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition filed by the Allahabad Heritage Society along with citizens of Allahabad challenging the 2018 decision of the Uttar Pradesh government to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
The Allahabad High Court had in February last year dismissed the plea filed before it ordering that the State government was well within its powers to change the name of a district and that the Courts should not enter into policy decisions made by State governments.
A Special Leave Petition was then filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court decision and seeking the overturning of UP government’s decision of renaming the city.
"The name Allahabad has been associated with the City for over 400 years. The name now is not merely the name of a place but has become inextricably linked with the identity of the city and all its people irrespective of their religion. It forms part of the day to day lived cultural experience of the residents of the city and the districts of Allahabad.”
The petition also further challenges the decision of the Allahabad High Court on the basis that a Court can enter into decisions of policy by a State government when it directly affects the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country.
The petition says no consultation was sought from the public by the UP government prior to arriving at the above decision. The plea states:
"The haste with which the process was followed is itself demonstrative of the fact that the State did not adequately consider the evidence on the record as well as the implication of the decision on the fundamental rights of the citizens residing and belong to Allahabad.”
Earlier, Justice Ashok Bhushan had escaped from hearing the petition, directing that it should be listed before another bench.