Taj Mahal Controversy in HC: All You Need To Know
Lucknow: Taj Mahal, The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday said the plea to constitute a fact-finding committee to find out the “real truth” behind the Taj Mahal construction is a “non-justiciable” issue. A non-justiciable issue is something, which the Court cannot decide or go into.
“We are of the opinion that petitioner has called upon us to give a verdict on completey a non justiciable issue,” the bench said while hearing a petition seeking the directions to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to probe the 22 closed doors in the Taj Mahal to ascertain the presence of the idols of Hindu deities. The plea sought the constitution of a fact-finding committee and the submission of a report by the ASI.
“The first prayer (to constitute a fact-finding committee to study “real history” of Taj Mahal) cannot be adjudicated by this court,” the bench said.
The bench earlier said that it was “not convinced” with the petition seeking the opening of locked rooms in the Taj Mahal. Resuming the hearing in the afternoon, the bench said, “We are not convinced with your prayers. What are you seeking is the exploration of facts through a fact-finding committee? That’s none of your rights and it’s not under the ambit of the RTI Act.”
The petitioner then asked if he needed to file an amended petition.
The bench was hearing a petition seeking the opening of locked rooms in the Taj Mahal. Earlier in the day, the lawyer representing the petitioner argued that the citizens of the country have the right to know about the Taj Mahal. The court, however, slammed the plea and asked the petitioner to not make a mockery of the PIL system. The matter is slated to be heard post lunch.
“I got to know about many rooms which have been locked and the authorities said that those rooms are locked because of security reasons… If there are many hidden things under the Taj Mahal that should be in public,” he further said.
The Uttar Pradesh government said that the petitioner lacks territorial jurisdiction. “How can we pronounce a verdict on this? What is your right? Where is this right? To get a particular study conducted? ” the court said in response to the petitioner’s argument that he had the right, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to know what is inside the 22 rooms of the Taj Mahal.
Will Taj Mahal rooms be opened? A backdrop of the petition
The hearing on a petition for the opening of 22 rooms at the historic site was postponed due to a strike by the Awadh Bar Association. The petition seeks guidelines to be issued to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for the opening of the rooms to check the presence of Hindu idols at the site.
The petition, filed by Rajneesh Singh, BJP media in-charge in Ayodhya has cited claims by certain historians that the structure is actually an old Shiva Temple. The petition has urged to court to permit the ASI to form a special team and examine the rooms that have been locked for centuries.
Singh had previously said that the intention of the petition was not to make the Taj Mahal a Shiva Temple but to unearth the truth behind the closed doors for social harmony.
Taj Mahal land belonged to Jaipur royals: BJP MP
Meanwhile, ahead of the hearing, BJP MP Diya Kumari, on Wednesday claimed that the land on which the Taj Mahal stands belonged to Jaipur ruler Jai Singh.
“Compensation was given in lieu of the land but how much was it, whether it was accepted or not, I cannot say this because I have not studied the records which are there in our ‘pothikhana’. But the land belonged to our family and Shah Jahan had acquired it,” Kumari, a member of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family, said, news agency PTI quoted.
She further added that people have the right to know why the rooms in the Taj Mahal are locked. “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 said.
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