Entire Maharashtra should know Marathi, says Mumbai Mayor

| Updated: Jun 03, 2017 04:45 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 2, (ANI): After the Bombay High Court set aside the Maharashtra Government's order to made Marathi language compulsory for auto rickshaw permits, Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar asserted that the people in the state should know Marathi. "The people living in Mumbai should know Marathi. My mother tongue is Marathi and I am proud of it. The entire Maharashtra should know Marathi," Mahadeshwar told ANI. The Bombay High Court earlier on March 1 set aside a Maharashtra Government's 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. The 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 earlier 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. (ANI)