The state government Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that it had declared a property in Satara as a protected monument where Dr BR Ambedkar lived in his early years because this was the only house that Dr Ambedkar’s father owned in the area, located right next to the high school he attended in Satara. The court was told that Ambedkar would have resided with his father during that period.
The High Court was hearing petitions, one of which challenges the claim of the state that Dr Ambedkar resided in the property located in Sadar Bazar, Satara, based on which it declared it as a protected monument. The petitioner, Laxman Aamne, claims to be the owner of the property.
During the last hearing, the court had asked the state to explain how it had arrived at a conclusion of declaring the property as a protected monument.
In an affidavit, filed through its government pleader Molina Thakur by the state government, it has claimed that Dr Ambedkar’s father, Ramji Maloji Sakpal, was working in Satara and lived in the said property which he had inherited from his father. During this time, Dr Ambedkar studied in Pratapsinh High School and while the school’s general register does not mention where he stayed, he would have lived in the property with his father, who only owned this house in the vicinity of the school.
Another affidavit filed earlier by the agencies states that “it would be preposterous to assume he lived anywhere except in this house owned by his father.” According to the gazette notification issued by the government, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar resided here during 1896 to 1904 and did his primary schooling from the high school and the said structure was constructed during the British period.
The High Court had earlier questioned whether there was proper application of mind at the time of declaring the property as a protected monument in the official gazette, dated March 8, 2007.
According to Aamne’s petition, the property in question was declared as a protected monument by virtue of the Maharashtra Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,1960, but there was no material available with the authorities who concluded the property as a protected monument.
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