The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Maidan political role case

Calcutta, Jan. 18: The army’s clearance to the Book Fair on the Maidan has been challenged in the high court on the grounds of “political influence” and environment degradation.

“The army’s decision also violates the court’s earlier orders. The interests of a large number of common people of the city will be jeopardised,” the petition filed by advocate Sabyasachi Roy Chowdhury said.

The petition, which will be argued by advocates Kalyan Banerjee and Arunava Ghosh, has laid 11 grounds.

Some of the grounds are:

The Maidan will be environmentally damaged

The army’s permission runs contrary to environment laws

Political influence made the army change its mind

The clearance goes against the undertaking given by the army and the government before the court last year. This amounts to contempt of court

The fair is held for financial gain by a private body. Neither the state nor the army has the right to back the organisation’s efforts to make money

The army’s decision is discriminatory as it does not allow other organisations to hold fairs on the Maidan.

The division bench of Justices B. Bhattacharya and K. K. Prasad has scheduled hearing for tomorrow.

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