The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government what steps it was taking to preserve and maintain the original handwritten scripts of social reformers Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule.
A division bench of Justices P B Varale and S D Kulkarni was hearing a petition taken up suo motu (on its own) in December 2021 after the media reported that the Maharashtra government had halted its project of publishing the literature of Ambedkar. On Thursday, advocate Swaraj Jadhav, appointed to assist the court, informed the HC that most of the original handwritten manuscripts of Ambedkar and Phule were stored in a small and dingy room in an old building in south Mumbai.
With the onset of the monsoon, there is a strong likelihood that the papers may get spoilt, leading to permanent irreversible damage, he further said. Government pleader Purnima Kantharia told the court that the government would be filing its affidavit.
The bench then asked Kantharia to also say in the affidavit what steps the government is taking to preserve the scripts.
The court posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
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