Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday set aside a Maharashtra Government order that made Marathi language compulsory for auto rickshaw permits.
The order is a setback to the state government as it had directed all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to make the knowledge of Marathi language compulsory, as a condition for people seeking permits.
The order was passed by a division bench of the court presided by Justices Abhay Oka and Anuja Prabhudesai, while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by auto rickshaw unions.
Lawyers appearing for the rickshaw unions had argued that the government had taken a wrong decision. They told the bench that before imposing such a condition for permits, the government could have amended existing rules.
The court had yesterday observed that "The contentions raised by the petitioners are prima facie correct. The government could have amended the rules before such a decision"
The government had issued the circular on November 1, 2016 stating that the permits for new auto-rickshaws would be given only to the Marathi speaking applicants. However, this rule exempted those who already have valid permits.
There are more than two lakh auto rickshaw drivers in Mumbai and more than 70 percent driver are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.