Thursday, 1 December, 2022
HomeIndia‘Don’t mock PILs,’ Allahabad High Court dismisses plea to open locked rooms...

‘Don’t mock PILs,’ Allahabad High Court dismisses plea to open locked rooms in Taj Mahal

Petitioner and BJP media in-charge in Ayodhya, Rajneesh Singh, wanted an ASI committee to give clarity on the monument’s ‘history’.

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New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition that sought the opening of 22 locked rooms in the 17th century mausoleum, Taj Mahal.

The petition, filed by BJP youth media in-charge Ayodhya Rajneesh Singh, wanted the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to form a special committee that would examine 22 locked rooms in the mausoleum to check for the presence of Hindu idols. He said clarity was required to end this controversy.

The petition said there were claims that Taj Mahal was actually a Shiva Temple (Tejo Mahalaya).

On Thursday, the petitioner asked the court to open the rooms under the “freedom of information”.

The Lucknow Bench of Justices DK Upadhyay and Subhash Vidyarthi took strong exception to this and said: “Tomorrow you will ask us to go to the chambers of Honourable Judges? Please don’t make a mockery of the PIL (public interest litigation) system.”

Singh’s petition read: “Some Hindu groups and reputable sants are claiming this monument as old Shiv temple supported by many historians… Some people also believe that Tejo Mahalaya @ Taj Mahal appears to be one of the Jyotirling i.e. the outstanding Siva Temple.”

It further stated: “It is respectfully submitted that there are certain rooms situated in upper and lower portions (approx.22 rooms) of four storied building which is permanently locked and many historians like P N Oak and crores of Hindu worshipers strongly believe that in those locked rooms there’s a temple of Lord Shiva there.”

At court on Thursday, Singh’s counsel argued, “I’m not on the fact that the land belongs to Shiva or Allah-o-Akbar. My main concern is about the closed rooms and we all should know what’s there behind those rooms.”

The court said if authorities (ASI) “have said that rooms are closed because of security reasons then that’s the information. If you’re not satisfied then challenge it”.

The court also asked if the study sought was in any way connected to the right to information. The justices said: “Go and research. Do M.A Do PhD. Then choose such a topic and if any institute disallows you to research on such a topic… then come to us. Please enroll yourself in MA, then go for NET, JRF and if any university denies you research on such topic then come to us.

The justices also said such debates were welcome in informal settings, not in a court of law.

On Wednesday, BJP MP Diya Kumari, a member of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family, said the Taj Mahal land originally belonged to Jaipur’s ruler Jai Singh and was acquired by Shah Jahan.

She said there were records available with the Jaipur family and it would provide them, if required.

Kumari said: “People should know why the rooms are locked there. There could have been anything before the Taj Mahal, maybe a temple. People have the right to know what was there originally before the ‘maqbara.’”

She supported Singh’s petition seeking a fact-finding inquiry into the history of Taj Mahal.

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