The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to consider a petition filed as public interest litigation challenging the removal of the sign VT (Victorian Territory or Viceroy Territory) written on Indian aircraft. The Court asked petitioner-in-person BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay to approach the Centre.
The bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad recommended Upadhyay to approach the Ministry concerned by way of representation. The bench has directed the Ministry to consider the petition in compliance with the said law within a reasonable period of time.
“Call sign VT is not only against the sovereignty of India but also contrary to the rule of law, right to freedom and right to dignity of citizens,” the petition said.
Upadhyay, in his plea, contended that usage of VT sign is a symbol of slavery since it was adopted as a prefix during British rule. He argues that countries like China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan have already substituted their prefixes after attaining Independence but India is still carrying its call sign of the colonial era. Upadhyay in his petition says the continued usage of VT jeopardizes the sovereignty of the country.
“It’s very unfortunate that India, even after 75 years of Independence, retains VT, the symbol of slavery,” the plea said.
According to the PIL, the prefix VT stands for the nationality code that each aircraft registered in India is required to carry. The code is generally seen just before the rear exit door and above the windows. All domestic airlines have the prefix, which is followed by unique alphabets that define the aircraft and who it belongs to. For example, on Indigo flights the registration VT is followed by IDV, i.e., VT-IDV, for Jet, it is VT-JMV.
The prefix marks that the aircraft has been registered in the country and it is mandatory in all countries. The registration of the aircraft is required to appear in its Certificate of Registration and an aircraft can only have one registration in one jurisdiction, states the PIL.