A plea to open 22 shuttered rooms of the Taj Mahal was denied by the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench on Thursday. “Tomorrow you will come and ask us to go to chambers of honourable judges?” a panel of Justices DK Upadhyay and Subhash Vidyarthi reprimanded the petitioner. Please don’t make fun of the PIL system.”
Rajneesh Singh, a BJP youth media in-charge, submitted the petition before the Lucknow bench, requesting that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) investigate the 22 locked doors in the Taj Mahal for the presence of Hindu deity idols.
The plea requested the formation of a fact-finding committee and the ASI’s production of a report. Some historians and Hindu organisations have claimed that the monument is an antique Shiv Temple, according to the petition.
The bench informed the petitioner during the hearing that such disputes were welcome in casual settings but not in a court of law, according to reports.
The judge stated, “I welcome you to debate the topic with us in the drawing room, not in a court of law.”
The petitioner stated that there was a truth about the Taj Mahal that the country’s inhabitants needed to know. “I’ve also submitted numerous RTIs. I learned of several rooms that had been locked, and the authorities claimed that they were locked for security reasons.”
The court expressed its disgust with the plea, saying, “Is it possible to argue these points in a court of law? Do we have such training and equipment as judges?”
In response to the petitioner’s contention, “”Right to information,” the bench said, “Go do some research. Do M.A. Do PhD.” Then decide on a topic and see if any institutes will let you to research it. Come to us, then. Please enrol in an MA programme, then apply for NET or JRF, and if any university refuses to let you research on such a topic, come to us.”
The petitioner had previously stated that he had been attempting to obtain the details through the Right to Information Act since 2020. “In response to an RTI request, the Union Ministry of Culture advised the Central Information Commission (in Delhi) that these rooms were shut for security reasons,” Singh explained. He also said that no information concerning these rooms was provided.