Allahabad HC Rejects Plea To Unlock 22 Rooms In Taj Mahal, says ‘Make no Mockery of PIL’

The Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench has dismissed a petition to unlock 22 closed rooms in the Taj Mahal to check for the presence of Hindu deity idols, reported news agency ANI

Rajneesh Singh, a BJP youth media in-charge, filed the petition, requesting that the Archaeological Survey of India investigate the 22 shuttered doors of the ancient site.

The application requested the formation of a fact-finding commission and the filing of a report by the ASI, citing assertions by some historians and Hindu groups that the Taj Mahal was an earlier Shiv Temple.

The Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, and Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb were declared historical monuments under 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, respectively.

The HC’s decision comes only days after BJP MP Diya Kumari claimed that the site on which the Taj Mahal was built belonged to the erstwhile Jaipur royal family and was later acquired by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

She claimed that the family of Jai Singh, the emperor of Jaipur, has documents of this.

The MP had backed the petition before the High Court, asking for the “22 rooms” of the monument to be opened so that “the truth, whatever it is,” may be seen.

“It should be investigated what was there before the monument was built and people have the right to know. There are records available with the Jaipur family and it would provide these if required,” said Kumari, who is also a member of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family.

“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,” she added.

She said that there could have been no appeal at the time because there was no judiciary. “Things will be clear only after examining the records.”