December 2, 2021 1:00:58 am
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the stalled project of the Maharashtra government to publish the writings and speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. The HC noted that the same reflected a “sorry state of affairs” and that the publication of the same was absolutely necessary and desirable.
A division bench of Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Shriram M Modak referred to a November 24 news report published in the daily Loksatta, which had said that the Maharashtra government has undertaken a project to publish the writings of Ambedkar.
The news report stated that the government had issued directions to print nine lakh copies of the volumes and printing paper worth Rs 5.45 crore was purchased by the state. But in the last four years, only 33,000 copies were printed and the rest of the paper purchased for the project is lying in the godowns. Of these 33,000 copies, only 3,675 were made available for distribution, the report added.
“There is no dispute that these volumes are in demand not only by the researchers but also by the public in general,” the HC noted.
“The news item reflects a sorry state of affairs… The publication is absolutely necessary and desirable for present and future generations. It is useful to members of the legal fraternity as well as to general members. So, we feel that there is a need for this court to look into the issue of halting the project… Considering the nature of the grievance raised in the news item, we are treating it as a matter for public interest litigation,” the bench said.
The HC directed its Registry to lodge a suo motu PIL and place it for further considerations before the bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta.
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