NEW DELHI: : The Delhi high court on Friday asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to decide a representation which claims Mughal emperor Shah Jahan did not build the Taj Mahal and only renovated the palace of Raja Man Singh.
Petitioner and NGO Hindu Sena has inferred from the lack of any mention of any architect in the accounts of Shah Jahan’s “court chroniclers” that Raja Man Singh’s palace was “modified & renovated to create the current look of Taj Mahal”.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela noted that Hindu Sena had earlier filed a similar petition before the Supreme Court, which allowed it to withdraw the plea after it proposed a representation to the ASI.
The apex court had in December 2022 refused to entertain the plea saying PILs were not meant for seeking a “fishing enquiry” and courts were not there to “reopen history”.
On Friday, the NGO’s counsel told the HC that he had submitted the representation to ASI in January this year but had not received any response yet. The bench disposed of the PIL after asking the ASI to look into the claims and take a call. The PIL alleges “wrong historical facts” are being taught and shown to the public about the construction of the Taj Mahal.
It seeks directives to have these removed from history books in schools, colleges, universities and other institutions. It also presses for an ASI “probe” to ascertain the age of the monument.
“It is extremely strange why all the court chroniclers of Shah Jahan have not mentioned the name of the architect of this magnificent mausoleum. Therefore, this quite clearly indicates that the mansion of Raja Man Singh was not demolished but only modified to create the current look of the Taj Mahal. That is why there is no mention of any architect,” the plea states

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