Mumbai: Indian Hotel and Restaurants Association seek six more months to put up sign boards in Marathi

The government had set the deadline for the same to be May 31

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 09:48 PM IST
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After the passing of the May 31 deadline for the shops and establishments to display their names in Marathi in Devanagiri script as well, the Indian Hotel and Restaurants Association has approached the Bombay High Court seeking additional six months’ time to put up the same saying that the prices for the getting the new sign boards has “sky rocketed” due to shortage of manufacturers .

An amendment to the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017, which mandated that all shops and establishments shall display signboard of their names in Marathi in Devanagari script, the font of which shall be the same as that of the other script and not smaller. The government had set the deadline for the same to be May 31.

They were asked to put up Marathi sign boards by May 31, 2022 failing which prosecution will be initiated.

The petition filed through advocate Vishal Thadani states that they are not challenging the validity of the amendment but are only seeking extension of time for compliance.

“Members of the petitioner’s Association are not challenging the validity of the amendment but have filed the writ petition only for the purpose of getting the time for compliance with the amended provision extended by six months and in the meantime, no coercive action be taken or prosecution be launched against its members for non-compliance with the said amendment during the extended period,” read the plea.

One of the grounds for seeking extension of time is that the amendment came into extension on March 17 and its compliance time till May 31 is “extremely short”.

Highlighting that the hotel industry has “suffered huge losses during the past two years”, the plea states that even changing the name board of an ordinarily painted board costs between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Whereas illuminated boards and neon signs cost anywhere between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

In addition, the number of name board or sign manufacturers are limited and hence it is impossible for so many name boards to be changed simultaneously. “This scarcity of sign board manufacturers and painters and labour has resulted in prices for changing name board sky rocketing,” added the plea.

AHAR had made several representations to the government and the BMC on May 19, 20, 24 and 25. However, they did not receive any response, hence they filed the petition in the HC.

A similar petition has been filed by the Federation of Retail Traders before the Supreme Court seeking extension of time.

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