The Bombay High Court on Monday directed a trust to deposit Rs 1 lakh as a pre-condition to hear its public interest litigation seeking that signboards and banners with Devanagari text on par with the English language be put up at the city airport. The petition filed by the ‘Gujarati Vichar Manch’ (GVM) sought implementation of two circulars issued by the Union Home Ministry, Department of Official Language in 2008 directing the use of Hindi and regional language at par with English on signage boards and indicators at public places. A division bench of Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne on Monday said the petitioner trust would have to first deposit Rs 1 lakh to prove its bonafide.
The court said if the deposit is made then the petition would be taken up for hearing.
The PIL alleged the respondent authorities had time and again failed to implement the circulars despite repeated reminders and requests by the petitioner trust.
”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,” the petition said.
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The petitioner claimed 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. The trust claimed having the regional language at par with English would lead to greater convenience to the indigenous people of Maharashtra and Indian residents who are not well acquainted with English.