Won't stake claim to Taj Mahal: Wakf Board to SC

Won't stake claim to Taj Mahal: Wakf Board to SC

Won't stake claim to Taj Mahal: Wakf Board to SC

The Sunni Wakf Board on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that no signed documents from the direct descendants of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan are available to show that the 700-year-old historical monument Taj Mahal is a Wakf Board property.

"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. But the board told the court that no human can lay claim to the magnificent monument.

Opposing the suggestion, senior counsel A.D.N. Rao appearing for ASI said registration of Taj Mahal as Waqf property will create problems and tomorrow they will claim ownership for Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri also and this will go on endlessly. "By virtue it is a Wakf property and is entitled to manage the Taj Mahal", lawyers of Wakf board said. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case after the ASI filed a plea in 2010 following a Waqf Board decision claiming the monument as its property.

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He sought this permission on the ground that "Khuda" (God) becomes owner of a property donated to the Waqf and as such the board be allowed to carry on the almighty's "khidmat" (services) there.

He has said that the board has no claim over Babri Masjid land either and while supporting construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. "Remember Emperor Shah Jahan has not written a deed in favour of Waqf" he said.

In its original reply to the ASI petition, the board had claimed that handover of the Taj Mahal to the Waqf Board is recorded in "Badshahnama" which is lying in the London Museum.

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