HC asks the Maha government for a status report on the publication of Ambedkar’s writings

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government for a progress report on a project currently releasing the collected writings and speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. A bench of Judges PB Varale and AS Kilor sent a notice to the government and asked it to file a response within three weeks.

In December 2021, the HC had learned suo motu (on its own) of newspaper articles according to which the project was at a standstill.

Calling the project “absolutely necessary and desirable”, he said the delay reflected a “sorry state of affairs” and ordered the court registry to convert the matter into public interest litigation (PIL). Lawyer Swaraj Jadhav, who was appointed to defend PIL on Wednesday, said the government set up the Babasaheb Ambedkar Basic Documents Committee in 1979, but “nothing has been done” . Ambedkar has also made several important speeches outside India and some of them have been published in international media, lawyer Jadhav said, adding that these speeches and reports should be incorporated into the project.

The HC said the committee’s mandate would cover everything.

When the state made the decision to publish Ambedkar’s speeches and writings, there were no restrictions on those published in the international media. There are even interviews. So the committee can consider everything, ”said the HC.

We do not believe that any specific direction is required to include material published in the international media. We will ask the State to submit an appropriate response and to tell us what the status of the committee and of the entire project is, ”he added.

State attorney Poornima Kantharia said the government would offer a “positive response to all questions raised in the PIL.” The court noted that the committee chairman had passed away a few months ago, so that the government would have to make new appointments or reconstitute the whole panel.

According to the report published in the Marathi daily Loksatta, 33,000 copies of Ambedkar’s writings had been published as part of the project and only 3,675 had been made available for distribution.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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