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  • Shops sans Marathi boards to be penalised | Mumbai News

Shops sans Marathi boards to be penalised | Mumbai News

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will once again impose penalties on shops and commercial establishments that haven’t displayed their names in the Marathi Devanagari Script.

Issuing a statement Saturday, the civic body said a special team of officers has been created in all the 24 municipal wards to impose penalties on ground, starting November 28.

Earlier, the action of imposing penalties was discontinued after the Supreme Court (SC) had issued a temporary stay on the matter last year and had asked the civic body to file a reply. However, the stay was revoked on September 25 this year.

The state government unanimously passed a resolution in the legislative Assembly in February 2022 by amending the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Act, thus mandating setting up of signboards at all shops and commercial establishments in the state to display the names of the establishments in Marathi language.

The order also stated that the font size of the Marathi language should be bigger and bolder than the font size of any other language that would be used in the signboard.

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The BMC had set a deadline for the shops and commercial bodies till September 30 last year for setting up the Marathi signboards, following which, it had started to take action against the establishments. However, the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) had last year approached the apex court, following which, in November 2022, the court issued an order directing the authorities to stop taking action and asked them to file a reply.

After the stay was lifted on September 25, the BMC had given a two-month deadline till November 25 to set up the new signboards.

According to data, prior to the stay, the BMC officials had inspected close to 12,000 shops out of which around 9,400 had already set up signboards in Marathi Language, while the remaining 2,600 shops were given notices for failing to comply with the norms.

“The two-month deadline is getting over on November 25. Those who fail to set up the boards will face legal repercussions,” said the civic body in a statement.

Viren Shah, president of the FRTWA, said that considering the court’s order, the civic body is now within its right to take action. “We tried our best to get a stay on it but the courts didn’t allow it so in the best interest, the rules need to be followed. Adequate time has now been given and by now, almost all the shops should have new signboards,” Shah told The Indian Express.

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