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  • In Dr Rajneesh Singh vs Union of India and ors. the Allahabad HC has junked the plea requesting for the constitution of a fact-finding committee to dig out the ‘real history’ of Taj Mahal. 
  • The petitioner, Dr. Rajneesh Singh, who is the media incharge of BJP’s Ayodhya Unit, claimed that false history of the Taj Mahal was being taught and he wanted to conduct a research by accessing the closed rooms to find out the truth. To this, the Court responded that such debates are meant for the drawing room, not the Court of Law. 
  • At the outset, the Court observed that the petition sought for the Court to issue directions in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to commission a study in respect to the history of the monument, and that the authorities may be directed to open approximately 22 sealed rooms inside the Taj Mahal so that the controversy relating to its history may come to rest. 
  • The third prayer that was made requests the Court to declare the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act, 1951 as ultra-vires the provisions of Article 19, 25, 26, 49 and 51 of the Constitution to the extent that the said Act declares certain monuments mentioned in the prayer clause to have been made by Mughals. 
  • The Court was of the opinion that the petitioner has called upon the Court to adjudicate upon a completely non-justiciable issue. While exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, though it is said that the Court has a plenary jurisdiction, the power of judicial review is circumscribed by certain established legal principles, one of them being justiciability. The doctrine of non-justiciability enunciates that if there are no judicially manageable standards available to a Court to adjudicate upon an issue, the petition would not be maintainable. 
  • The prayer to issue a writ of mandamus to appoint a fact finding committee to study the real history of the Taj Mahal cannot be adjudicated upon by the Court. Which subject should be studied or researched or which topic of a particular area or discipline needs to be researched are not issues where the Court possesses any judicially manageable standards to adjudicate upon. 
  • As regards the question as to the opening of rooms in the Taj Mahal, the Court was of the view that any historical research conducted by the academicians would involve a particular methodology, and the determination as to which methodology would yield the correct result lies outside the scope of the powers of judicial review. 
  • The Court also observed that the writ of mandamus can be issued only in the case of infringement of any right, whether constitutional, statutory or any legal right. The Counsel for the petitioner could not tell the Court as to from where the right to get a particular study conducted emanates. In the absence of infringement of any Constitutional or legal right, the writ petition could not be entertained. 
  • It was also observed that the Court, while exercising the powers of judicial review, must refrain itself from exercising its  jurisdiction if it finds that the controversy raised before it cannot be adjudicated upon on any judicially manageable and discoverable standard. 
  • The Court also noted that the Ancient and Historical Monuments Act of 1951 has been repealed on the promulgation of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958. Thus, this prayer was declared to be redundant. 
  • Noting that the issues that were raised in the petition were non-justiciable, the Court dismissed the same. 
     
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