SC rejects plea that sought to prevent non residents from offering Friday prayers at Taj Mahal

The Supreme Court on Monday, 9 July, ruled out a plea challenging the Agra government’s order preventing non-residents of the city from offering Friday prayers at a mosque in the Taj Mahal complex.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said that the Taj Mahal was one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World ‘and the people can offer their prayers at other mosques also.

The petition has challenged the January 24, 2018, order passed by the Additional District Magistrate (city) Agra which said that those who are not residents of Agra would not be allowed to enter the mosque situated at the Taj Mahal for offering customary prayers on Fridays on grounds of security.

Petitioner Syed Ibreahim Hussain Zaidi, president of Taj Mahal Masjid Management Committee, Agra, told the bench that several tourists visit Agra throughout the year and the order of ADM restraining them from offering their prayers at the mosque inside the Taj Mahal was illegal and arbitrary.

“Why should they go to the Taj Mahal for such prayers? There are other mosques. They can offer their prayers there,” the bench said.

The Taj Mahal is India’s most popular tourist attraction. It was built in the 17th century by Muslim Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

Earlier last year, Taj Mahal found no mention in a 32-page booklet titled, “Uttar Pradesh Paryatan-Apaar Sambhavanaayein (Uttar Pradesh Tourism: Unlimited Possibilities) which highlighted numerous landmarks throughout the northern Indian state.


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