The Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government on Thursday on steps being taken to preserve and maintain the original handwritten scripts of social reformers Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule.
A division bench of Justices PB Varale and SD Kulkarni asked the government while hearing a suo moto (on its own) petition which took cognizance of a media report highlighting that the government had stalled the project of publishing the literature of Ambedkar with an estimated cost of Rs 5.45 crore.
Advocate Swaraj Jadhav, who was appointed to assist the court, informed the bench 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, said Jadhav.
Additional Government Pleader Poornima Kantharia assured the court that all measures were being taken to ensure that those scripts are moved from there and kept in proper storage. The government will be filing an affidavit giving details of what steps were taken to preserve the same, she said adding that the affidavit would be filed soon.
The HC has asked the government to file the affidavit within two weeks and kept the matter for hearing after four weeks.