The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea challenging the Agra authority’s order debarring non-residents of the city from offering Friday prayers at a mosque in the Taj Mahal complex.
The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday refused to allow prayers by by outsiders- that is, not locals – at the mosque on the premises of the Taj Mahal, saying the monument’s preservation is paramount.
A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said that the Taj Mahal was one of the ‘seven wonders of the world’ and people can offer their prayers at other mosques also.
The petition has challenged the January 24, 2018 order passed by the ADM (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 Ibrahim 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 (Additional District Magistrate) (City), Agra restraining them from offering their prayers at the mosque inside the Taj Mahal was illegal and arbitrary.
“Why for such prayers they should go to the Taj Mahal,” the bench said, adding “There are other mosques also. They can offer their prayers there.”