The Allahabad high court’s Lucknow bench on Thursday rejected the plea of a petitioner who sought to open 22 doors in Taj Mahal to “ascertain the presence of Hindu idols”.
The bench slammed the petitioner, a BJP member, and asked how the Right to Information (RTI) act can allow him to conduct such studies.
The court on Thursday heard the petition of Dr Rajneesh Singh, who is the media in charge of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ayodhya unit. Singh sought directions to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to probe 22 closed doors in the Taj Mahal claiming that the building’s history was being taught incorrectly.
The bench asked the petitioner what the grounds of his request were, and asked if these issues of determining who built a historical structure are meant for a Court of law. “Are we judges trained and equipped with such things?” they asked.
The petitioner responded with saying that when he tried to learn about the locked rooms, he was denied entry. “I got to know about many rooms which have been locked and the authorities said that those rooms are locked because of security reasons,” he said. The bench replied to his statement by saying, “If they have said that rooms are closed because of security reasons then that’s the information. If you’re not satisfied, then challenge it.”
They added that the petitioner must enroll himself in MA, then go for NET or JRF, and may approach the court if any university declines to allow his research.
The petitioner claimed that he had a right to know what was behind the 22 closed doors. Coming down severely upon the petitioner, the bench asked, “Will you come tomorrow and ask to go into the chambers of the Hon’ble judges?”
About the plea
The plea was filed by Rajneesh Singh, a BJP youth media in-charge, before the Lucknow bench seeking directions to the Archaeological Survey of India to probe the 22 closed doors in the Taj Mahal, which the petitioner claims is a temple built to worship the Hindu deity Shiva.
The plea claimed that many groups have come to know that the Taj Mahal is an old Shiva Temple which was known as ‘Tejo Mahalaya’.
“It is there in many History books that in 1212 AD, Raja Paramardi Dev had built Tejo Mahalaya temple palace (presently Taj Mahal). The temple was later inherited by Raja Maan Singh, the then Maharaja of Jaipur. After him, the property was held and managed by Raja Jai Singh but was annexed by Shah Jahan (in 1632) and later it was converted into memorial for the wife of Shah Jahan,” read the plea.