The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu before whom the plea came for hearing on Monday disposed the PIL after seeking the Civil Aviation ministry to respond within eight weeks.
The petitioner B Ramkumar Adityan had submitted that at present, air passengers come from all sections of society and many of them are not be conversant with English or even Hindi, besides there are elderly passengers and passengers who do not travel frequently and such announcements are of great significance for them.
Also, the plea on citing to international fights possessing flight safety instruction cards in various international languages apart from English and Hindi, sought Flight Safety Instructions card to be printed in languages present in the eighth scheduled which included Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Maithili, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urudu in the interest of non-English and Hindi speaking passengers.
The plea also sought for a pre-recorded in-Flight announcement of safety instructions for passengers about wearing seat belts, emergency exits, oxygen masks and life vests in language of Origin City and Destination City apart from English and Hindi.
It was also pointed out that the Director General of Civil Aviation which had issued a circular to all the Domestic Flight operators to not rush through the announcements regarding safety practices so that an average passenger is able to understand the actions to be taken for safety, had failed to account that more than 50% passengers on board don’t know English and Hindi.