HC takes cognisance of state's halted project to publish Ambedkar's speeches

HC takes cognisance of state's halted project to publish Ambedkar's speeches
© Provided by The Times of India

MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the halting of the state government’s project to publish the speeches and writings of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

“It reflects a sorry state of affairs,’’ said a bench of Justices Prasanna Varale and S M Modak referring to a report in a Marathi daily. The report said 1 to 21 volumes of “The writings and speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’’ have been published till date and are to be printed due to heavy demand. The government had issued directions to print 9 lakh copies of the volumes and paper was purchased for Rs 5.45 crore. Unfortunately in the last 4 years only 33,000 copies were printed and the rest of the paper purchased for the project is lying in godowns. Of the 33,000 copies only 3675 were distributed. The report also said the government press is not equipped with modern machinery and is short staffed.

“The publication is absolutely necessary and desirable for present and future generations. It is useful to members of the legal fraternity as well as general members. So we feel there is a need for this court to look into the issue of halting of project and reason therefor. Considering the nature of the grievance raised in the news item, we are treating the news item as a matter for public interest litigation,’’ the judges said in their order. They directed the HC Registry to register it as suo motu PIL and place the papers before the bench presided by the chief justice that hears PIL.

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