Madras HC directs Civil Aviation Ministry to consider plea for announcing In Flight safety instructions in local languages

The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Civil Aviation Ministry to consider and pass a reasoned order on a representation made by a public interest litigant to ensure announcement of In-Flight Safety Instructions in the local languages of the origin city and destination city apart from English and Hindi.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu passed the order while disposing of a PIL petition filed by advocate B. Ramkumar Adityan of Thoothukudi. The litigant claimed that the safety of air passengers could not be ensured if they weren’t able to understand the safety instructions.

He said, the airline operators could use recorded voices in multiple languages to educate the passengers about the safety measures that they must follow while flying. It might not cost much to utilise such recorded voices but such a move would go a long way in saving lives, the litigant said.

He also insisted that the flight safety instructions cards must be printed in Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Maithili, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu & Urdu (the languages listed in the eighth schedule to the Constitution).

After hearing his counsel, the judges granted liberty to the petitioner to make a fresh representation to the Ministry within four weeks and directed the Ministry to dispose of such a representation by passing a reasoned order within eight weeks thereafter.

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