Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Bombay HC Asks for Pre-Hearing Deposit of Rs 1 L for PIL Seeking Marathi Signage at Mumbai Airport

Adivision bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne has asked a petitioner to deposit a sum of Rs. 1 lakh to check the bonafide of the public interest litigation that sought directions to be issued to Mumbai Airport Authority owned by businessman Gautam Adani to display all signboards in the Marathi language along with English.

The PIL was filed by a trust named Gujarati Vichar Manch which sought implementation of the circulars issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Official Language. The circular stated that usage of Hindi and regional language should be at par with that of English language on signage and indicators at public places.

The trust had made representations before the airport authority for compliance with the circulars of the Home Ministry. However, this was rejected, stating that the airport was designed considering all aspects of travel and global standards and therefore the signboards were not required to be modified.

The plea states that the petitioner is aware of the importance of English in the global landscape but is only seeking recognition of the official and regional language which is an emotional issue for citizens of any nation. The plea reads,

“It (language) has a great unifying force and is a powerful instrument for national integration. The proliferating usage of the English language should indeed not be synonymous towards undermining of our official and regional languages.”


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