The history of putting signboards in Maharashtra dates back from the year 2017 via. Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act, 2017 (herein referred as “The Act”) for all commercial establishments; viz, business centres, offices, warehouses, stores, hotels, eateries, amusement parks, theatres, schools etc, nationwide with an effective from September 7, 2017.
It was a requisite for all shops and establishments in the state to have signboards in Marathi and in the Devanagari script, where some establishments with less than 10 workers tried to elude this rule. At few instances, signange was in capital letters of English and the signage in Marathi was in the smaller case. Now, the Act has mandated that even those shops employing less than 10 workers will need signage in Marathi. It is one of the most important regulations required to be complied with for any business.
Further, an amendment was introduced by the Ministry on March 17, 2022, wherein certain specifications were highlighted wrt font size, etc. for the existing display related compliance.
Further, on June 06, 2022, a circular was issued by Brihan Municipal Corporation (BMC) wherein shops and establishments under the jurisdiction of BMC are required to comply with the following points till June 30, 2022
- All Commercial establishments should display their Nameboard in Marathi written in Devanagri script and if the signboard displays the name of any shop or business in more than one language, the one in Devanagari should be in a bigger font size.
- Nameboard should be displayed in Marathi language in front of the establishment.
- The size of the font should not be smaller than any other language and should be in Marathi.
- All the Establishments where liquor is severed or sold must not bear the names of legendary personalities and historical forts.
No specific penalty has been provided for non-compliance of this rule. We are assuming a general penalty shall be applicable which is envisaged in Section 29 of the Act, wherein whoever contravenes or non-comply to this rule shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs. 1 Lakh and in the case of a continuing contravention, with an additional fine which may extend to Rs. 20,000/- for every day, provided that, the total amount of fine shall not exceed Rs. 2000/- per workers employed.
Subsequent penalty is given as Rs. 2 lakhs, provided that, the total amount of fine shall not exceed Rs. 2000/- per workers employed.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE AMENDMENTS/NOTIFICATIONS
- Bill of 2017: The Maharashtra Government had introduced a bill in respect to the display of Noticeboard with respect to specified font size in order to make it visible by the public.
- Amendment Effectuated: The bill got enacted in March, 2022 as Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Act, 2022, wherein the government mandated to display of Name Board in Marathi Devanagri language only, with font size not to be smaller than the size of letters in any other language.ge.
- Notification Dated April 14th 2022: This notification issued by BMC for all Shops and Commercial Establishments coming under its jurisdiction to put up Name Board in Marathi Devanagri Script by May 31st, 2022 and includes all Business, Establishments, Shops, Private Schools, other private businesses, etc.
- Notification Dated June 6th 2022: This notification issued by BMC to extend the timeline for display of the Name Board by all Shops and Commercial Establishments in its jurisdiction by 30th June,2022.