Supreme Court of India
Director, Department Of … vs Ashish Gautam . on 11 May, 2020Author: Arun Mishra

Bench: Arun Mishra, S. Ravindra Bhat








1. The appeal has been preferred by the Department of Archaeology

and Museums aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 5.11.2014

passed by the National Green Tribunal, Central Zonal, Bhopal (for

short, ‘the Tribunal’) in Original Application No.132 of 2013 (CZ). The

matter pertains to “Sisodia Rani ka Bagh” (for short, ‘the Monument’),

situated at Jhalana, Jaipur, State of Rajasthan.

2. The Department of Art, Literature, Culture, and Archaeology

declared the Monument as protected one vide notification dated

8.2.2012. Thereupon, Rajasthan General Development Department

transferred the Monument for supervision to the Department of

Archaeological and Museums. The ceremonies like marriage and other
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
Date: 2020.05.11
13:48:45 IST

events used to be held in the Monument. For that, a notification dated

7.6.2012 specifying the conditions for holding such ceremonies was


3. Respondent No.1 – Ashish Gautam preferred a writ petition before

the High Court of Rajasthan by way of Public Interest Litigation, in

which a prayer was made to issue appropriate directions about the

safety and security of the wildlife in the Reserve Forest Area and further

directions for restraining the use of laser lights, loud music and

fireworks in the Monument. The High Court of Rajasthan transferred

the matter to the NGT. By way of impugned judgment and order, the

Tribunal held that the Monument is part of the forest area and directed

that no permission should be granted to organise social functions like

marriages, etc. and for the use of fireworks, loud music in the

Monument. Hence, the appeal.

4. Learned senior counsel on behalf of the appellants argued that the

Tribunal was not justified in putting a blanket ban upon holding of

ceremonies in the Monument, situated adjacent to the city. The

prohibition imposed shall adversely affect State tourism and would

render the entire Monument of no use, and its upkeep would be

difficult. It is situated on the Jaipur­Agra highway, and it is 3 km. away

from Jaipur city. The location of the Monument is ideal and very

significant for tourism purposes and for holding such functions. The

Monument is a historical place and has been used since long for

holding ceremonies, in the process revenue earned is the impetus to the

State exchequer. The prayer was confined in the original application

only to impose conditions for holding functions that used to be

organised so that the wildlife was not disturbed in any manner. Specific

guidelines existed and if any further restriction was required it could

have been ordered instead of a blanket ban. Thus, the order of the

Tribunal is against the public interest and interest of tourism in the

State of Rajasthan. No massive lighting, which could have disturbed

the wildlife, was permitted. The traffic in the vicinity of the Monument

is restricted, and only two­wheelers are allowed to pass through the

place. There is restriction on the use of loudspeakers in high volume.

No person is permitted to violate the restrictions imposed by the District

Administration, Jaipur. The Monument in question is not part of Tiger


5. This Court by order dated 22.10.2019 directed the State

Government to come up with a plan for beautification of the area and

for developing gardens to embellish the Monument. In compliance, an

affidavit has been filed on behalf of the State of Rajasthan. It has been

submitted that on 30.10.2019, a meeting was called by the Principal

Secretary, Art, and Culture Department, State Secretariat, which was

attended by the Chief Conservator of Forest and HOFF, Additional Chief

Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden, Director, Archaeology

and Museums Department, Executive Director (Works), Amer

Development and Management Authority and the Circle

Superintendent, Archaeology and Museums Department, Circle Jaipur.

It was decided to hire a Consultant to prepare a detailed plan for the

development and beautification of the Monument. The Chief Secretary

has approved the same. On receipt of the opinion of the Consultant, a

detailed plan shall be prepared, and action would be taken accordingly

to beautify the Monument so that it may attract more and more


6. Respondent – Ashish Gautam supported the impugned order

passed by the Tribunal. He argued that activities not permissible in the

forest were restrained. Since the area falls in the forest area and

Sisodia Rani garden is recorded in the name of the Forest Department,

no interference is required in the order passed by the Tribunal.

7. A Tourism Development Plan of the Monument has been filed as

Annexure A­1 by the appellant. It is pointed that it was built in the

year 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. The queen was very adorable

to the king and was gifted with this beautiful garden, and hence it is

known as “Sisodia Rani ka Bagh.” The structure of the Garden is a

perfect example of the Mughal and Indian style of architecture. The

Garden has the most elegant and graceful fountains, water channels,

and many painted pavilions. It holds many murals and paintings that

depict the theme based on the legends of Lord Krishna and Radha. The

Garden appeals more to the beholder as it stands as a symbol of love

and served as a summer retreat to the crowned heads and royal ladies.

The visitor timings are from 8.00 A.M. to 8.00 P.M. The fountain inside

the Garden and the dynamic coloured lights highlighting the elements

of the Mahal are operated from 6.00 P.M. to 8.00 P.M. There are other

attractions around the Monument, such as the temples of Lord Vishnu,

Lord Shiva, and Lord Hanuman. It was declared as a protected

Monument on 1.5.2012 by Department of Archaeology and Museums of

Rajasthan and work for restoration, as per principles of conservation,

was started. The Garden portion and outer courtyard of the Mahal were

thrown open to the tourists. Several maintenance works have been

taken up in the Monument. During the last five years, the expenditure

of approximately Rs.170 lacs has been incurred on conservation,

restoration, and development of Mahal and Garden. Around 100

tourists visit the Monument every day. It is proposed to beautify the

place further, open a heritage museum, upgrade the fountain and

lighting system, and improve tourist facilities and signages to make this

destination more attractive for tourists. The outline of the works

proposed are as follows:

(i) Development of Heritage Museum in the Palace;

(ii) Horticulture Improvement of Site;

(iii) Replacement of Existing Electrical and Lighting System;

(iv) Replacement of the Existing Musical Fountain and Water


(v) Installation of Access Control and Security System;

(vi) Improvement of Tourist Amenities; and

(vii) Improvement of Street Furniture, Information Signage


The estimated total expenditure of the above­proposed works is

Rs.368 lacs. The Tourism Development Plan also includes details of

projects and objectives, introduction, various photographs, the scope of

work, process and assumptions, project conservation scope,

architectural features, spatial description, pavilion plan, internal and

external features, details of wall paintings and construction materials

and techniques used. The significance of the site mentioned is as



Sisodia Rani ka Bagh is mostly famous for its
architectural heritage and its intricate paintings depicting
the life of Lord Krishna and Radha. This palace holds a
very important position as it belongs to the Rajput Rani of
the sisodias and also this was used as a recreational
palace by the rani, gives the glimpse of the personal life of
a queen of the 18th century, which is mostly overlooked as
we always talk about the lives of the kings and not the

According to the locals, weddings use to take place
there, and the whole garden area use to be the gathering
ground. The baoli and space next to the baoli acted as the
kitchen area for the same. Another very important aspect
of the palace is that the excellent use of rain water for the
recreational purpose can be seen and learnt from. The
mechanism for the flow of water was natural slope and
water channels were located all through the length and
width of the garden to even be used for the watering
purpose of the plantation on the site. This practice holds a
very important place for the people of Jaipur, due to its
climate and scanty rainfalls, saving and reusing rain water
was an ardent practice of the people there.


The Sisodia Rani ka Bagh is an example of Rajput style

of architecture with elements from Mughal style of
architecture for ex. Char Bagh arrangement of the garden
is from Mughal style, Chatteris, jaalis are from Rajput
styles and stone brackets from Rajput architecture. The
characteristics like pan patti cornices, intricate jaalis and
the articulated frescos add to the charm of the otherwise
simple structure of Rajput style.
This palace also have features like cusp arched
passages, true vault construction supporting the
bangaldhar ceilings, domical roofs supported by intricate
marble columns standing on the stone finished floors
overlooking the rooms and the mezzanine areas giving the
visual pleasure to the on looker. The stone jaalis, marble
floorings, stone chhatris, tibaris, burj, stone railings,
frescos and the intricate details of the wooden doors are a
pleasure for the people.


Heritage tourism is one of the major economic lifelines
of the town of Jaipur. Hence conserving the built heritage
of Jaipur is necessary to safeguard the architectural
heritage of the region and to foster tourism which is a
major economic activity of the town. The tourism can grow
with proper planning through a more sustainable and
environmentally conscious development of basic tourist
facilities. These structures form a part of the fabric of the

The tourists generally come from the neighbouring
countries and states by buses, trains and by air as it is a
part of the golden triangle of tourism with Agra and Delhi.
As discussed earlier there are many heritage sites in
Jaipur and Sisodia Rani ka Bagh is also a part of that
culture and the historical background that Jaipur has
grown up from.

Jaipur sees many tourists all over the year and mostly
from October to March, as it’s the winter season and it is
very favourable for the tourists from other countries.
Jaipur alone witness an inflow of international tourists
ranging from 25%­35% according to the Ministry of
Tourism Rajasthan.”

The details of the works done in the last five years have been

mentioned. Plan objectives are specified in Part 5 of the Tourism

Development Plan. The conditions of the site, factors affecting the

property, project proposals, scope of works, and drawings are also

mentioned in detail.

8. At present, the Monument is an archaeological monument and

was being used for earning the revenue by organising various functions.

In the process, it was also maintained. The Monument is adjacent to

Jaipur­Agra highway, it has historical importance and is entirely

enclosed by a pakka structure. It does not disturb the forest area

though the Monument may be recorded as forest. It would not be

appropriate to permit the use of the Monument to hold various

functions during the night after 8.00 P.M. The tourist timings are 8.00

A.M. to 8.00 P.M. During that time, considering the importance of the

historical Monument and it is in encircled structure by wall and its

potentiality there cannot be any objection for its being used for multi­

purpose appropriate activities. At the same time, there is in place a

noise restriction, the same has to be strictly observed. Besides, the

Government has imposed several other restrictions in the area. In

addition to that, it is also to be ensured that no fireworks take place in

and around the Monument to prevent noise and air pollution.

Restriction on the use of laser light is also required. Beautification of

Garden with ornamental plants of rare breed and flowering plants is

also required. It is necessary to maintain and keep in order the musical

and other fountains. However, the blanket ban imposed by the

Tribunal was not called for as area can be used for appropriate

functions and for holding events to attract tourists. No inconvenience is

going to be caused in the area considering the situation of Monument.

In the writ petition itself, a prayer was made pertaining to the safety

and security of wildlife and not to allow laser lights, loud music and

fireworks. However, it is necessary to dedicate requisite number of staff

and gardeners and supervisors to look after the Garden, for that

requisite steps be taken.

9. We issue following directions:

(i) The Monument may be used for appropriate multi­purpose

activities between 8.00 A.M. to 8.00 P.M. only. No activity to

be permitted after 8.00 P.M.

(ii) The use of laser lights, loud music, and fireworks is ordered

to be completely restrained.

(iii) Musical and other fountains to be maintained and to be kept

in working order.

(iv) Other conditions imposed by the Department be observed


(v) Let requisite supervisory and other staff/gardeners, etc. be

dedicated to maintain and look after the area.

(vi) We direct that a Consultant be appointed for further

beautification of the area and requisite horticultural

development and an additional project plan be prepared and

placed on record.

We accordingly modify the order of the Tribunal. The appeal is

allowed in part.

We propose to monitor beautification and further developmental

work ourselves. Let the report of the Consultant and additional plan

and development undertaken so far be placed on record within one

month from today.

List the case after one month.

…..………………………… J.
(Arun Mishra)

…..………………………… J.
(S. Ravindra Bhat)
New Delhi;
May 11, 2020.


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