The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking to open 22 rooms of the Taj Mahal to check if they contain Hindu idols or scriptures, Bar and Bench reported.
The petition was filed by Rajneesh Singh, who is in charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s media desk in Ayodhya. He approached the Supreme Court after the Allahabad High Court dismissed his petition on May 12.
“The High Court was not in error in dismissing the petition, which is more of a publicity interest litigation,” a bench of Justices MR Shah and MM Sundresh said.
Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had commissioned the construction of the Taj Mahal in 1632 and the project was finished in 1653. However, some Hindutva pseudo-historians have propounded the theory that the mausoleum pre-dated Shah Jahan and was built long before Mughal rule began in India.
Singh, in his petition, said that several Hindutva groups claim that the Taj Mahal is an old temple dedicated to Hindu deity Shiva and is known as the Tejo Mahalaya. The petition also claimed that this theory is supported by many historians too.
“It is said that Taj Mahal was named after the name of Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal,” the petition stated. “However in many books, the name of the wife of Shahjahan was described as Mumtaz-ul-Zamani not Mumtaj Mahal. Also the fact that the construction of a mausoleum takes 22 years for completion is beyond the reality and totally an absurdity.”
Singh claimed in the petition that King Paramardi Dev had built the Tejo Mahalaya temple palace in 1212 AD in the location where the Taj Mahal is located. He claimed that the temple was passed down to other rulers and in 1632, Shah Jahan annexed it from king Jai Singh and converted it into a memorial for his wife.