The Uttaranchal (Alteration of Name) Act, 2006

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The Uttaranchal (Alteration of Name) Act, 2006 (Act no. 52 of 2006) was enacted by the Parliament of India as a legislation of Central Government and was provided for the purpose and object to have alteration in the name of the State of Uttaranchal. The Act was passed by the Parliament in the 57th year of republic of India and the same has received the assent of President of India on 21st day of December, 2006. Earlier, there was a Resolution adopted by the Legislative assembly of Uttaranchal on 5th day of October, 2005 seeking the change of name of State of Uttaranchal, and the said resolution was sent to the Central Government. While so, the resolution was containing that the population of the State was also of opinion that the name of the State of Uttaranchal should be altered on the basis of mythology and history. Thereafter the then President of India, Mr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam referred the Uttaranchal (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2006, as per requirement of the proviso to Article 3 of the Constitution of India, to the state Legislature for expressing its views thereon. And since the state assembly had agreed to the provisions of the bill, it was introduced in the Lok Sabha by amending the provisions of the Constitution and also by providing for consequential provisions thereof. As such the Bill finally turned into the present Act.

So far as the provisions of the Act are concerned, there are only few provisions provided under the Act i.e. eight sections in number. the Act sought to define certain terms which have been used in the various provisions of this Act, including, ‘appropriate government’ which here provides in relation to the laws making authority, as such so far as the matters provided in the list- I of the 7th Schedule to the Constitution, the said appropriate Government will be ‘Central Government’ and in relation to the other matters, the said appropriate Government will be the ‘State Government’. Another important term which is defined under the Act is ‘law’ which here should be included the enactments, ordinances, regulations, orders, bye- laws, rules, schemes, etc. and all such instruments which will have the force of law in relation to the entire or partial territories of the State of Uttaranchal.

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The most important provisions relating to the basic and main purpose of the Act are contained under section 3 and further sections. So far as the alteration of name of the State of Uttaranchal is concerned the section 3 of the Act provides that the State of Uttaranchal should be named as State of Uttarakhand, after the Act brought into force. And as the name was altered under this Act, there was a requirement of making consequential amendments in the other relevant provisions provided under different laws. As such, so far as the provisions of the Constitution of India are concerned the section 4 of the present Act warranted amending First Schedule of the Constitution of India and in which more, specifically, the heading of ‘I. The State’, under the entry 27 thereof, the name of the State is required to substitute with ‘Uttarakhand’. Further, as per section 5 of the Act, the consequential amendment is sought in Forth Schedule of the Constitution of India, wherein more specifically, in the heading of ‘Table’ and under its entry 18th, the name of the State is substituted with the name ‘Uttarakhand’.

Similarly, the Act sought enactment of consequential laws, under its provisions, as such section 6 of the Act empowers the afore mentioned appropriate Governments to adapt and modify any laws made earlier to such alteration in the name of the State of Uttaranchal, for the purpose of giving effect to the said alteration of name. Such adaption and modification in the existing laws are required to be made within the period of 1 year from the date on which the present Act brought into operation. Also such adaption and modification can also be done either by way of necessary repeal or necessary amendment. Finally, the Act makes provisions to change the name of State of Uttaranchal with the State of Uttarakhand in all the proceedings being legal where such name is being used, as the concerned State is party therein.

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Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan