Supreme Court gives two months to retailers to install Marathi signboards in Mumbai

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On September 25, 2023, the Supreme Court bench including Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan heard the petition filed by the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association in connection with the compulsory Marathi signboard rule in Mumbai. The bench advised retailers to install Marathi signboards within two months in order to take advantage of the upcoming festival season. It was further noted by the Supreme Court that the sum incurred could be claimed as a business expense. While hearing the matter, Justice Nagarathna said “Why cannot you put a board in Marathi language? Comply, comply. Karnataka also has the same (rule). Otherwise, they will put Marathi font so small, and English so big. What is the fundamental right violation? Now is the time to have Marathi signboards, ahead of Delhi, Dussehra. You are in Maharashtra, you do not know the benefit of having Marathi signboards? A new signboard can be made part of your business expenditure. If we send you to the (Bombay) High Court, you will be imposed heavy costs.” Justice Bhuyan further remarked that the use of new signboards in Marathi will introduce employment opportunities for those who make the boards. Earlier on September 01, 2023, the Supreme Court bench advised the retailers that “...Rather than spending money on advocates, please put a board.” It also addressed the matter as ‘a matter of ego’ because they want jingoism. The top Court then gave the petitioners three weeks time to file a rejoinder to the state government’s affidavit. After that, the matter was heard on September 25 (yesterday) where the bench gave two months time to the retailers to install Marathi sign boards in Mumbai.

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