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Allahabad HC rejects plea seeking to open 20 rooms of Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, Agra. File

The Taj Mahal, Agra. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Allahabad High Court on May 12 dismissed a plea seeking a ‘‘fact-finding inquiry’‘ into the history of the Taj Mahal and the “opening of 22 rooms’‘ on the monument’s premises, saying the petitioner failed to point out which of his legal or constitutional rights were being infringed.

The Lucknow bench of justices D.K. Upadhyay and Subhash Vidyarthi pulled up the lawyer of petitioner Rajneesh Singh, who is the media in-charge of the BJP’s Ayodhya unit, for filing the PIL in a “casual” manner and said it cannot pass an order under Article 226 of the Constitution in the matter.

The article empowers a high court to issue to any person or authority in the area under its jurisdiction orders or writs to enforce the fundamental rights.

The bench said that the petitioner could not point out as to which of his legal or constitutional rights were being infringed.

The petitioner’s lawyer Rudra Vikram Singh urged the court to permit him to withdraw the petition and file a fresh plea, but the bench did not accept his request and dismissed the petition.

The writ petition was filed on May 7 in the registry of the Lucknow bench of the High Court by Rajneesh Singh, seeking a fact-finding inquiry into the history of the Taj Mahal. It also sought opening of the doors of its “22 rooms” to see “the truth, whatever it is”.

Several Hindu right-wing outfits have claimed in the past that the Mughal-era mausoleum was a Lord Shiva temple.

The monument is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The petition also sought the setting aside of certain provisions of The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act 1951, and The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, under which the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb were declared historical monuments. 

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Printable version | May 12, 2022 8:25:42 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/allahabad-hc-rejects-plea-seeking-to-open-20-rooms-of-taj-mahal/article65407591.ece