Allahabad High Court Initiates Suo Motu PIL on Defence Land Encroachment in Ayodhya


The Allahabad High Court has taken cognizance of allegations regarding encroachments on land allocated to the Indian Army in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, initiating a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) titled "In Re: Protection of Defence Land at Ayodhya."

Originally prompted by a PIL filed by an advocate from Ayodhya, the Court disposed of the petitioner's plea after being informed of a previous similar petition, directing the Registry to register a suo motu PIL on the matter. The Court emphasized the importance of safeguarding State land entrusted to the Ministry of Defence from encroachment or misuse.

Despite opposition to the PIL citing the lawyer's criminal history, the Court disposed of his plea and directed him to disclose a prior court order in future PILs. The Court then proceeded to examine the Defence Ministry land encroachment issue, where the State government clarified that the land was allotted for Army use by a 2021 notification, although the title transfer to the Defence Ministry hadn't occurred.

During subsequent hearings, the Court was informed that occupants had existed on the land even before the notification, with no subsequent illegal encroachment reported. However, the Defence Ministry's response is pending, with Senior Advocate SB Pandey and Advocate Varun Pandey seeking time to acquire instructions.

Additionally, certain residents of the land expressed intent to file an intervention application, represented by Advocate Prashant Kumar Singh.

The Court adjourned the matter for three weeks pending further deliberation. Advocates Nishant Mishra, Akhilesh Kumar Pandey, and Dinesh Kumar Mishra represented the original petitioner, while Additional Solicitor General Ashish Chaturvedi represented the Ministry of Defence during hearings.

Author: Anushka Taraniya 

News Writer, MIT ADT University