The Bombay High Court on Wednesday set aside a state government order, which made it compulsory for auto drivers to learn Marathi in order to get their rickshaw permit.
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 bench had started dictating the order yesterday, but it was issued today.
The government had issued the circular to all RTOs on November 1, 2016 stating that the permits for new auto-rickshaws would be given only to the Marathi speaking applicants.
Although the rule exempted those who already had valid permits, many of new applicants had found the Marathi test difficult and failed.
There are more than two lakh auto rickshaw drivers in Mumbai, of which reportedly 70 percent are from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
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