The Allahabad High Court on Thursday pulled up the petitioner seeking opening of 20 rooms in the Taj Mahal, and asked him not to make “a mockery of the PIL system”.
“Go and research. Do M.A. Do PhD.,” a bench comprising Justices DK Upadhyay and Subhash Vidyarthi said, according to Bar & Bench. “Then choose such a topic and if any institute disallows you to research on such a topic.
The plea was filed by Dr Rajneesh Singh who is seeking direction to the Archeological Survey of India to open 20 sealed doors of the Taj Mahal to resolve the controversy around its origins. He contends that the Taj Mahal was a Shiva Temple, known as Tejo Mahalaya, and has asked for the government to constitute a fact-finding committee to publish the “real history” of the monument. The petitioner Dr. Rajneesh Singh, who is the media in charge of the BJP’s Ayodhya unit, claimed that false history about Taj Mahal was being taught and he wanted to do research by accessing the close rooms to find out the truth.”Such debates are meant for drawing room, not for a court of law”, said a division bench of Justice DK Upadhyay and Justice Subhash Vidyarthi.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that a committee should be appointed by the court and a truth which the citizens of the country need to know about the Taj Mahal, must come out.
“I make it clear that my main concern is about the closed rooms and we all should know what’s there behind those rooms”, the petitioner submitted. “Please allow me to go to those rooms and do the research”, he pleaded.”Tomorrow you’ll come and ask us to go to the chambers of Hon’ble judges of this court?”, the bench questioned.
The bench further asked if it was for the Court to decide who built the historical monument. “You hold that the structure (Taj Mahal) was not made by Shah Jahan? Are we here to pronounce any verdict? Please don’t take us to the historical facts which you believe”, the bench said., the Bench told the counsel for the petitioner that the relief sought in the plea i.e. exploration of facts through a fact finding committee, does not fall under the ambit of Right to Information Act.
“We are not convinced with your prayers,” the Bench orally told the petitioner’s counsel.
To this, the counsel asked the Bench if he should approach the Court seeking a different prayer. The Bench however asked the counsel if the Ancient Monuments Act, 1951 makes any declaration that Taj Mahal was built by Mughals which was challenged by the petitioner.
Accordingly, the Court was of the view that the petitioner had called upon the Court to give a verdict on “completely a non justiciable issue.”
“We are of the opinion that petitioner has called upon us to give a verdict on completely a non justiciable issue,” the Bench said.
Thus, the Court observed that the first prayer, which related to constituting a fact finding committee to study real history of the monument, could not be adjudicated.
“The issues lie outside court and should be done by various methodology and should be left with the historians,” the Court observed.
Therefore, while dismissing the plea the Court said:
“It is not for the Court to direct what subject needs to be researched or studied. We are not able to entertain such a petition.”