OLD MONUMENTS

Only Agra residents allowed to offer namaz inside Taj Mahal complex, rules Supreme Court

The court said the 16th Century monument was one of the seven wonders of the world, and should be preserved.

The Supreme Court on Monday said namaz cannot be offered at Agra’s Taj Mahal, reported PTI. The court was hearing a plea that challenged an order barring non-residents of Agra from offering prayers on Fridays at a mosque in the Taj Mahal complex.

The court said the 16th Century monument was one of the seven wonders of the world, and should be preserved. “Why for such prayers they should go to the Taj Mahal?” asked the bench of Justices A Sikri and Ashok Bhushan. “There are other mosques also. They can offer their prayers there.”

On January 24, the Agra additional district magistrate had barred non-residents of the city from offering prayers at the mosque citing security reasons. Syed Ibrahim Hussain Zaidi, the president of Taj Mahal Masjid Management Committee, challenged the order in the Supreme Court, calling it illegal and arbitrary.

Corrections and clarifications: The headline of the story has been updated to reflect that only non-residents of Agra have been barred from praying inside the Taj Mahal complex.

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