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Gulfam Uddin And Othrs v. Union Of India - WRIT - C No. 14726 of 2006  RD-AH 5878 (10 March 2006)
Court No. 36
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 14726 of 2006
Gulfam Uddin & Ors. -------- Petitioners
Union of India & Ors. ------- Respondents
Hon'ble Sushil Harkauli, J.
Hon'ble Vikram Nath, J.
We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner.
Several interim orders have been passed in various writ petitions by various persons restraining the respondents from interfering with the working of such persons as tourist guides in the monuments of Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri etc. We see no good reason for not passing similar interim order in this case.
However, some confusion may arise in the mind of the respondents authorities because of these orders. Hence, we are giving the following clarification.
The basis for passing those orders was that a provision had been made in Rule 8 of the statutory rules framed under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. The validity of Rule 8 of the Rules was challenged in all these cases either by taking such a ground in writing or orally during the arguments. The ground for challenge was that the aforesaid Act is meant for preservation of the ancient monuments. The working of persons as guides involves only showing the tourists the places around the monument where such visit of tourists is permissible, informing the tourists by word of mouth about the history and qualities of the monument concerned. Such oral discourse of a guide is not likely in any manner tamper with the preservation of these monuments, and therefore, the provision for licensing of various guides under Rule 8 is ultra vires the Act being outside the scope of the Act.
While it may be open in the interest of tourists to regulate the working of the guides under laws relating to tourism or other laws, but the regulation or licensing of guides under Rule 8 were under the aforesaid The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 be permissible and to that extent that part of Rule 8 would be ultra vires. It is outside the scope of the aforesaid Statute to cater to the welfare or protection of tourists.
In the circumstances, we clarify that the restraining order, being passed in this case as well as in all other cases only means that no person, who has got such an order, will be stopped from working as a tourist guide on the ground that he does not have a licence in terms of the said Rule 8. However, such person, who wants to work as a guide will have to buy a ticket like any other visitor for entering into the premises of the monuments like any other tourist, but as such a ticket will not have any extra privileges over and above the normal tourist. However, it will be open to such persons working as guides to charge money from the tourists for showing them around and to work as guide to such person, who engage them for such working.
Until further orders of this Court, the respondents are restrained from interfering with the working of the petitioner as guide.
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