The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday afternoon rejected a petition seeking to open 22 closed rooms inside the Taj Mahal.
The bench also told the petitioner to get a Masters degree or PhD and do research on the topic and slammed him for making a "mockery" of the public interest litigation (PIL) system.
"Please enroll yourself in MA, then go for NET, JRF and if any university denies you to research on such topic then come to us," the judges told the insistent petitioner.
"Tomorrow you'll come and ask us to go to chambers of Hon'ble judges?" the justices further quipped. The Bar and Bench shared the detailed courtroom proceedings in a lengthy Twitter thread on the matter.
The petitioner's plea wants the Archaeological Survey of India to form a special committee to examine the locked rooms inside inside the Taj Mahal and release the report to the public.
While the petitioner -- the BJP's media in-charge of Ayodhya Dr Rajneesh Singh -- claimed he wanted the alleged controversy related to the “history of Taj Mahal” to be put to rest, his lawyer Rudra Vikram Singh was put to test.
During the first half of the hearing, a bench of Justices DK Upadhyay and Subhash Vidyarthi took the petitioner and his lawyer to task.
The hearing opened with the petitioner urging the court to open 22 locked rooms inside the Taj Mahal. "There is a truth that the citizens of the country need to know about the Taj Mahal," Rudra Vikram Singh said.
But when Rajneesh Singh questioned the actual age of the monument, the bench hit back, "You hold that structure is not made by Shah Jahan?"
"Are we here to pronounce any judgement? As to whether who built it or what is the age of Taj Mahal? You need not to take us to historical facts which you believe," the judges said.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court also stated that the petitioner's plea seeking an order to open the rooms cannot be granted unless there have been any infringement of rights.
When the petitioner stressed on his right to information to have a fact-finding committee constituted to study the Taj Mahal and "if any wrong history is taught to us," the bench asked if the research the petitioner needed is anyway connected to right to information.
"Go and research," the bench told the petitioner and his lawyer.
"Do MA, do PhD and then choose such a topic. And if any institute disallows you to research on such a topic, then come to us."
On more insisting, the judges asked the petitioner not to make a mockery of the public interest litigation system.
"I welcome you to debate the issue with us in the drawing room and not in a court of law," the bench stated.Read the full proceedings here:
Taj Mahal Hearing:
Court: Go and research.Do M.A
Then chose such a topic and if any institute disallows you to research on such a topic.May 12, 2022
The petition, filed by Rajneesh Singh cites the claims of some historians and Hindu groups about the mausoleum actually being an old Shiva temple.Singh said that the demand is not to make the Taj Mahal a temple but to bring out the truth of the matter for the sake of social harmony. He said that the only way to end such controversy is by examining closed doors.