Supreme Court issues advice to Maha government regarding billboards of shops and establishments in Marathi

The Supreme Court has issued an opinion on the petition filed by the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Associations, challenging the Maharashtra government’s directive to display the notice boards of shops and establishments in Marathi.

Supreme Court (file image)

The Supreme Court on Friday issued an opinion to the government of Maharashtra on a plea challenging the government’s decision requiring all shops and establishments in the state to display their signs in Marathi.

The plea was filed by the Federation of Retail Merchants Welfare Association. Earlier, the Bombay High Court had upheld the mandatory direction for Marathi name signs.

During today’s hearing before Judges KM Joseph and Krishna Murari, Lead Counsel Gopal Sankarnarayan appearing before the petitioners told the bench: “There were stones thrown at my shops. Can you interfere with my rights as a linguistic minority? I don’t want to enter into an outside debate, but I have the right to settle anywhere.”

To this, the bench said, “Is your own language forbidden? Why did you raise constitutional questions?

Sankarnarayan replied, “No. Only has to be the same size as Marathi. But it should be up to me who I want to go to. Having to spend on Marathi panels is disproportionate. Invasion of my personal choice as the way whose vegetarianism is enforced by some.In Bombay, I’m not sure everyone would know Marathi.They say the rights under article 19 are neither absolute nor unfettered.

According to the petitioner, BMC has prescribed new requirements for the change of signs under Section 36A of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Act (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) and the amendment does not did not prescribe a fixed time limit.

However, the civic body announced a May 31 deadline through newspaper ads and issued notices to institutions.

The petition further claimed that failure to meet the requirement within the time limit will result in a penalty of up to Rs 50,000.

— ENDS —

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