Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has ordered that "procedures and guidelines" of land allotment for the 12-yearly Maha Kumbh, the six-yearly Ardh Kumbh and the annual 'Magh Mela' congregations, held near the Sangam here, be advertised in newspapers at least six months prior to the commencement of the events.

The order, dated February 27, was passed by a Division Bench comprising Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice Bharat Bhushan on the writ petition of Samaj Sewa Utthan Samiti, a religious and charitable society, which had prayed for instructions to the Kumbh Mela administration for allotment of land in its favour for the ongoing congregation which began on January 14 and is scheduled to conclude on March 10.

The court disposed of the petition observing that the writ petition was filed on February 5 this year, when almost half the period of the congregation was over, adding that if the petitioner was not allotted land, it should have approached the court earlier.

"We, however, find substance in the contention of the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner that if a policy is made for allotment, the same should be widely advertised in the newspapers, at least six months before the Mela begins",
the court said.

The court also said that "persons, institutions and societies seeking allotment of land to apply in advance" to "avoid litigation and apprehensions of favouritism by the administration in such matters." "The writ petition is accordingly disposed of with directions that in future the management of Maha Kumbh/ Ardh Kumbh/ Magh Mela shall widely advertise the procedure and guidelines of allotment of land in Mela area in the daily newspapers at least six months before the congregation starts", the court added.

(Agencies)

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