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Petition seeking to open 22 rooms of Taj Mahal dismissed; Allahabad HC says, “it should be left to historians…..”

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

NEW DELHI: Petition seeking to open 22 locked rooms of Taj Mahal dismissed, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday has quashes the petition of Dr Rajneesh Singh, the media in-charge of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Ayodhya. While rejecting the plea, the court said: “We are not sitting here to decide which subject should be researched. This matter is out of court and it should be left to historians.”

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A petition has been filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court seeking directives to the Archaeological Survey of India to open 20 rooms inside the Taj Mahal in Agra to find out whether Hindu idols and inscriptions are hidden there.

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Amid all this, BJP Lok Sabha MP from Rajsamand and Jaipur Royal scion Diya Kumari had claimed on Wednesday that the land on which Taj Mahal was built was owned by the erstwhile Jaipur Royal family.

The High Court said that if someone stops you from research, then come to us. Justice DK Upadhyay asked the petitioner whether history would be read according to you. ‘When was the Taj Mahal built, who got it built, go read first.’ Justice Upadhyay questioned the question in the courtroom. The court said that this is not a judicial issue, but it is a matter of discussion.

The court said that the judge will not take any decision in this matter, rather the historian / academician should study it. On this matter, the petitioner said that he will write a letter to History Academy and ASI regarding research. He said that now I will write to the departments first, then I will go to the Supreme Court.

A petition was been filed in the High Court seeking a fact-finding inquiry into the “history” of the Taj Mahal and also opening of the doors of its “22 rooms” to see “the truth, whatever it is”. The writ petition was filed on Saturday in the registry of the Lucknow bench of the High Court by Rajneesh Singh, who claimed to be the media in-charge of the BJP’s Ayodhya unit.

“In the petition, I have demanded that the 22 doors of rooms of the monument which are closed should be opened to see the truth, whatever it is,” Singh told sources on Sunday.

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The Mughal-era monument is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The petition has also sought to set aside certain provisions of The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act 1951, and The Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, under which the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb were declared historical monuments.

Singh has filed the petition through his lawyers Ram Prakash Shukla and Rudra Vikram Singh. Several right-wing outfits have claimed in the past the Taj Mahal was a Lord Shiva temple.

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