Mumbai: In order to prove its bonafide, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed a trust to deposit Rs 1 lakh as a pre-condition to hear its public interest litigation (PIL) seeking that signboards and banners in Devanagari text be put up at the city airport along with the English signboards.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne asked the petitioners 'Gujarati Vichar Manch' (GVM) to deposit Rs1 lakh and only then it will hear the matter.
What the PIL seeks
The PIL filed by GVM has sought the implementation of two circulars issued in 2008 by the Union Home Ministry, Department of Official Language, directing the use of Hindi and regional language at par with English on signage boards and indicators at public places.
It alleged that the respondents have time and again failed to implement the circulars despite repeated reminders and requests by thepetitioner trust.
The plea read, "The petitioner merely seeks recognition towards the official and regional language of the state of Maharashtra as language is a highly emotional issue for the citizens of any nation. It has a great unifying force and is a powerful instrument for national integration.”
Prominent display of English language on signage boards etc at the airport in Mumbai is nothing but an act to foist the language on the indigenous people, it further claimed. Having the regional language at par with English would lead to greater convenience for the indigenous people of Maharashtra and Indian residents who are not well acquainted with English, it added.
GVM also referred to an order passed by another bench of the high court which highlighted the importance of Marathi signboards and had upheld the BMC circular directing all shops and establishments to put up signboards in Devanagari script as well.
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