MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court Friday dismissed a petition seeking a ban on the phrase 'Alibaug se aaya hai kya?' (Have you come from Alibaug?), observing that there was nothing derogatory in it and it should not be taken as a humiliation.
As per the plea, the phrase is commonly used in Maharashtra to address someone who is considered foolish or naive.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N M Jamdar dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rajendra Thakur, a resident of Alibaug district in Maharashtra.
"Jokes are made on every community. Santa Banta jokes. Madrasi jokes and jokes on north Indians. Have fun don't get humiliated," Chief Justice Nandrajog said.
"We do not find anything derogatory in this," the bench added. In his plea, Thakur said that the phrase is "unfair and humiliating" as it projected people of Alibaug as illiterates.
Thakur's plea states that Alibaug is a well-to-do place, a major tourist attraction and that it has several good schools and high literacy rate. It also says that Alibaug has a rich culture and history.
"Alibaug is bestowed with nature with scenical beauty. In spite of having such a rich background filled with history, culture, industry, tourism, medical facilities, nature and education, it is highly objectionable to ridicule the people of Alibaug by projecting them as 'illiterate' who do not have common sense," the plea said.
Thakur had urged the court to direct state authorities to get public refrain from making such a comment.
He had also urged the court to ensure that films, documentaries, TV serials, among others, that have the above phrase as part of its dialogue, are not granted censor certificate.