State Affairs

SC instructs ASI to form guiding policy for Agra monuments

AGRA

Two days after the licenses of Uttar Pradesh Tourism approved guides to work on Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments expired, the Supreme Court of India has directed the ASI to allow the guides to continue working at the monuments till the ASI does not submit a comprehensive policy in the apex court.

The ASI now has to submit the policy in the Court within two weeks and implement the same within six weeks and the licenses of UP Tourism Guides will continue to be deemed as valid till that time, reports India Today.

According to the sState Approved Guides Association President Deepak Dan, the ASI had prohibited UP Tourism approved guides from working in ASI protected monuments in 2014, but the Supreme Court of India had ruled in their favour in May 2015.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, the department of tourism had issued licenses with a validity till January 14, 2016 and the guides had challenged this through a contempt petition in the Supreme Court.

The petition came up for hearing on Friday, when a double bench of Justice Khafiullah and Justice S A Bobde ruled that the ASI should submit a comprehensive policy before the bench within 2 weeks and implement it within 6 weeks. Pending the implementation of the policy, the guides should not be restricted from working at the monuments.

The bench also ordered the Dept. Of Tourism to issue licenses to 37 guides who had not been issued licenses in May 2015. He said that the guides will continue to work at the monuments according to the year 2003 guidelines till the new policy is not approved by the Supreme Court.

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