In its massive judgment, the Allahabad High Court recently junked the PIL to open Taj Mahal rooms and further slammed the petitioner for making a “mockery” of the PIL system. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in its ruling was quoted saying, “Please enrol yourself in MA, then go for NET, JRF and if any university denies you to research on such topic then come to us.”
The bench also asked petitioner to debate all they want about the matter in informal setting, but not in the court of law. “I welcome you to debate the issue with us in the drawing room and not in a court of law,” the bench said.
For the unversed, the plea was filed by Dr. Rajneesh Singh who claims to be BJP Ayodhya media-in-charge, as per Bar and Bench. In the plea, it was contended that the Shah Jehan constructed building was actually a Shiva Temple, known as ‘Tejo Mahalaya’. The petitioner wanted 22 closed rooms of the monument be opened, as within the rooms lies ruins of the Shiva temple.
The Facts of the Matter
After a lot of online speculation, debates and heated amid netizens, the Allahabad High Court recently dismissed the plea that sought opening of rooms of Taj Mahal. The matter was heard by the bench of Justice DK Upadhyay and Justice Subhash Vidyarthi.
In the court, petitioner Dr. Rajneesh Singh’s lawyer argued that the monument’s rooms must be opened in the light of “freedom of information”. However, the bench of Justices dismissed the argument saying, “Tomorrow you’ll come and ask us to go to chambers of Hon’ble judges? Please, don’t make a mockery of the PIL system.”
“What is your right?”: Allahabad HC Slams Petitioner
In response to the petitioner’s plea of opening the closed rooms in the Taj Mahal under the Right to Information Act, the court remarked, “How can we pronounce a verdict on this? What is your right? Where is this right? To get a particular study conducted?”
“Go and Research”: HC Asks Petitioner to Conduct Appropriate Research
The bench further asked the petitioner to conduct appropriate research regarding the matter. “Go and research. Do M.A. Do PhD. Then choose such a topic and if any institute disallows you to research on such a topic. Then come to us. Please enrol yourself in MA, then go for NET, JRF and if any university denies you to research on such topic then come to us,” the court stated, while chucking the plea.
In the court, the petitioner requested the Court to hear the matter following the lunch. The bench’s displeasure at the plea remained in the post-lunch session as well. During the post-lunch session, the Court stated – “What are you seeking is exploration of facts by way of a committee. That’s none of your rights and it’s not under the ambit of RTI Act.”
“Completely non-justifiable issue”: HC Dismisses Plea
Labelling the plea as a completely “non-justifiable issue”, the High Court issued the final order and stated, “We are of the opinion that the petitioner has called upon us to give a verdict on completely a non-justiciable issue.”
What was the Taj Mahal 22-RoomsCase All About?
The plea was filed by Dr. Rajneesh Singh, BJP youth-unit media in-charge. In the plea, it was argued that there are Hindu groups that contest Taj Mahal being an old Shiva temple called the Tejo Mahalaya. The pela stated that these claims result in conflicts between Hindu and Muslims, and to put an end to it all, a “fact-finding” committee must be formed so that the “real history” of the Mughal monument emerge.
Further, in the plea it was argued that there are 22 rooms in Taj Mahal’s upper and lower portions that are locked. Citing some historians that claim that the closed rooms may house Hindu deities, the plea contested the opening of the closed doors.