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HC seeks status report from Maha govt about publishing of Ambedkar's works

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought a status report from the Maharashtra government about an ongoing project to publish the collected writings and speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Bombay High Court | Maharashtra | B R Ambedkar

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

B R Ambedkar
B R Ambedkar | Wikimedia Commons

The on Wednesday sought a status report from the government about an ongoing project to publish the collected writings and speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

A bench of Justices P B Varale and A S Kilor issued a notice to the government and asked it to file reply within three weeks. In December 2021, the HC had taken suo motu (on its own) notice of newspaper reports that the project had come to a standstill. Terming the project as "absolutely necessary and desirable," it had said the delay reflected a "sorry state of affairs," and directed the court registry to convert the issue into a public interest litigation (PIL).

On Wednesday, advocate Swaraj Jadhav, who has been appointed to argue the PIL, said the government set up the Babasaheb Ambedkar Source Material Publication Committee way back in 1979, but "nothing much was done".

Ambedkar had delivered several important speeches outside India too and some of them were published in the international media, advocate Jadhav said, adding that these speeches and reports should be incorporated in the project. The HC said the committee's remit would cover everything. "When the state took a decision to publish Ambedkar's speeches and writings, there was no bar on those published in the international media. There are even some interviews. So the committee can consider everything," the HC said. "We don't think a specific direction is required to include material published in the international media. We will ask the state to file a proper reply and tell us what is the status of the committee and the entire project," it further said. State's lawyer Poornima Kantharia said the government would offer a "positive response to all the issues raised in the PIL." The court pointed out that the chairperson of the committee had died a few months ago, so the government would have to make new appointment or reconstitute the whole panel. As per 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.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, January 12 2022. 19:06 IST