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Taj issue: Waqf Board moves SC

July 19, 2005 19:10 IST

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board on Tuesday filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to prevent the Archaeological Survey of India from taking an ex parte order on the issue.

The ASI had earlier declared that it would challenge the board's claim that the Taj Mahal is a Waqf property.

"If any petition or application is filed let nothing be done without notices to the board's counsel," Waqf Board's lawyer Anis Suhrawardy said in the caveat.

Acting on the directions of the Allahabad high court, the Waqf Board had on July 13 declared the Taj Mahal a Waqf property 'by use' and ordered its registration as such in accordance with the Waqf Act 1995.

The ASI, which is the custodian of the world heritage monument, had said the verdict was 'not in the interest of the Taj' and it would challenge it in an 'appropriate legal forum'.

Waqf Board chairman Hafiz Usman had pronounced the order, which said the Taj Mahal, the connected mosques and tombs, which were surrounded by a wall, were Waqf property. However, he said the decision about the management of the Taj Mahal would be pronounced at a later stage but did not specify when.

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