The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to list the Taj Mahal as its property as it is allowed to perform rituals there, NDTV reported.
The board, however, told the court that it would not stake claim to the ownership of the monument as it did not have the original title document bearing the signatures of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to back its claim. The court, which is hearing an appeal filed by the Archaeological Survey of India in 2010 over ownership of the monument, had earlier asked the board to produce the document.
“Once you have registered the monument as Waqf property, your statement that you will not be staking claim will not help,” said the three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
The board told the top court it could manage the monument without ownership. A part of Fatehpur Sikri – the fort near Agra built by emperor Akbar – where the mosque exists was registered as Waqf property, and the the Archeological Survey of India maintained the adjoining area, the Waqf board said. It then urged the archaeological body to reconsider it claim to the Taj Mahal only for the purpose of maintaining it.
The Archaeological Survey of India said that if it agreed to the board’s demand, it might lead to similar claims for the Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The court will hear the case next on July 27.