A pillar or minaret at the entry gate of the iconic Taj Mahal collapsed in heavy rains and thunderstorm which hit Agra early on Thursday. The pillar known as Darwaza-e-Rauza, which was 12-feet in height, came down crashing as winds reaching upto 100 km per hour lashed the city.
The pillar and the small dome above it were destroyed completely in the incident.
The incident has come at a time when the Archeological Society of India (ASI), which looks after the maintainence of the iconic site, and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board are fighting a court battle over the ownership of Taj Mahal.
Hearing an appeal filed by the ASI, the Supreme Court has asked the Sunni Waqf Board to show documents in support of its claim about owning the monument.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked the counsel of the board to show it documents to substantiate that Shah Jahan, who had built the Taj Mahal in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631, had executed a 'waqfnama' in favour of the board.
Waqfnama is a deed or a document through which a person expresses intention to donate a property or land for charitable purposes or waqf.
"Who in India will believe that it (Taj) belongs to the waqf board," asked the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, and added that such issues must not waste the time of the apex court.
When the waqf board counsel told the court that Shah Jahan had himself declared it a Waqf property, the bench asked the board to show it the original deed executed by the Mughal emperor.
"Show us the signature", the CJI told the counsel, who then sought more time to produce relevant documents.