Monday, 4 July 2005

Moghal descendent wants Taj Mahal to be registered in his name

By Syed Akbar
The "Prince" Yaqoob Habibuddin Tucy, city-based man who has claimed to be a "direct descendent of Mughal lineage" and therefore the "rightful claimant" to the Taj Mahal wants the monument to be registered in his or in the name of other members in the lineage.
In case of Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Wakf Board not doing this, Prince Tucy has decided to move the High Court. "If it is not registered on our names, let the Taj Mahal remain under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)," he said.
"Yes, I am happy that Taj Mahal has been declared a Wakf property. It was the will of emperor Shah Jahan who had the monument built. Now prayers and other rituals, as desired by Emperor Shah Jahan, can be performed at Taj. This decision was needed for a long time now," he said.
Speaking to this correspondent, Tucy said he was aware of the landmark order passed on Wednesday by the Uttar Pradesh Central Wakf Board which declared the Taj Mahal a "Wakf or religious trust." A formal order on this was issued by the Board's chairman Hafiz Usman who told reporters that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would no longer have right of possession over the 17th century monument.
Prince Tucy has decided to meet the Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Wakf Board members and ask them to register the monument and properties attached with it on his name.
On the UP Central Sunni Wakf Board not taking cognisance of his application, Prince Tucy said: "Section 36 of the Act clearly lays down that the first right to get a property registered as a Wakf lies either with the owner of the property or his descendants. As such, I will not allow any third party interference in this. It is either me or other members of lineage or the ASI should continue with its control on the monument. I will do everything to stop Wakf Board from taking direct management of the monument," he said.
Tucy is leaving for Lucknow on Monday. "After meeting with his lawyer and members of Wakf Board, he proceed on the issue depending upon the response from the Board.

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