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Bombay HC takes suo motu cognizance of the Govt’s stalled project of printing literature of Ambedkar

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Munmun Kaur-

Published on: December 2, 2021 at 19:55 IST

As per November 24 news report published in Marathi daily Loksatta, the Maharashtra Government had undertaken the project to publish literature of Dr. BR Ambedkar under the title, “The Writings and Speeches of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar” in various volumes. Directions were given to publish 9 Lakhs copies but by far only 33,000 were printed in the last four years whereas, out of these only 3,675 were up for distribution.

Rupendra More, The Chief of the Directorate of Government Printing, Stationery and Publications described the vast quantities of printing paper lying in godowns as “safe” as it was of excellent quality and could last for years.

The report pointed out the “sorry state of affairs” based on which Bombay High Court observed that the Government press is not equipped with modern machinery and faces the issue of major staff crunch.

The Bench of Justices Prasanna B Varale and Shriram M Modak said that “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 nature of the grievance raised in the news item, we are treating it as a matter for public interest litigation,”

Therefore, the Bombay High Court took cognizance of the matter and directed its Registry to lodge a suo motu PIL and place it for further considerations before the bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta.