Petition on unauthorised activity on defence land dismissed

6 months after contempt notice to top Army official by Allahabad High Court, petition was dismissed after court`s observation that it did not appear that illegal construction work was undertaken.

Allahabad: Six months after a contempt notice was issued to a top Army official here by the Allahabad High Court, the petition has been dismissed as withdrawn following the court`s observation that "by no stretch of imagination" did it appear that any construction work was undertaken in the cantonment area in violation of an injunction.
The verdict came after the petitioner Ajay Kumar Mishra, a practising advocate at the High Court, sought permission to withdraw his contempt application "conceding that no case for contempt is made out".?

A contempt notice was issued by the court to Major General Bishambher Dayal, ex-officio President of Allahabad Cantonment Board, on April 11 following the petitioner`s allegation that construction activity was taking place at the Polo ground, a stone`s throw from the High Court premises.

The court had on April 12, 2005 described the Polo Ground, spread over about 23 acres of land, as "the lungs of the city" and issued a writ of mandamus against "making any construction" there and to "maintain it as an open piece of land".

On the date of delivery of judgement, the court noted with dismay that despite having sought adjournments twice in the month of September itself, the petitioner had failed to submit any rejoinder subsequent to the counter affidavit filed by the Major General wherein he denied allegations of any construction activity at the site.

The court said, "The repair and replacement of boundary fence of barbed wires for the protection of the ground in itself by no stretch of imagination can be said to be in violation of the order passed by the court, in as much as the same cannot amount to raising any construction on the land or changing its nature in any manner.

"Notices are discharged. Let the contempt application be consigned to record", Justice Krishna Murari said in the recent judgement.