Travancore scion puts the fear of God on SC in his affidavit

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Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple
Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 15: The royal scion of the Travancore royal family, Rama Varma who is the custodian of the huge temple booty estimated to be worth Rs 1 lakh crore has warned the Supreme Court on opening a particular vault 'B' through his affidavit.

The Padmanabhaswamy temple was elevated recently as the richest temple in the country when the temple treasure trove was found in underground secret cellars. Rama Varma in his affidavit to the apex body stated that opening of the B vault will lead to invoking the deity's wrath.

A senior counsel, KK Venugopal speaking for the royal family said, “The opening of the last cellar namely 'B' is not advisable because 'serpent" sign at the entrance indicates that it is not auspicious to open it. However, a decision on this may be taken after conducting the traditional 'deva prashnam's as not to incur the displeasure of Lord Padmanabha. Opening without conducting 'deva prasnam' will be contrary to the age old religious custom and practise."

The affidavit had also stated, "That the 'kallaras' (cellars) ought not to have been opened as opening of the 'kallaras' unnecessarily exposed the security of the temple to grave risk. Now, damage control has become necessary. Moving the wealth of Lord Padmanabha to a place outside the temple complex for public exhibition as directed by the high court requires reconsideration." Rama Varma had earlier opposed the court's idea for displaying the unique temple wealth in a museum.

Meanwhile, the counsel for the state in its affidavit reiterated that the state nor any individual have the right to claim any of the temple treasure and said, "The gold ornaments, precious stones, coins and other objects of value found in the cellars of Sree Padmananabha Swamy Temple belong to the temple. Nobody can lay any claim on them."

"As was the practice with the rulers of Travancore, much of their personal wealth and offerings by devotees went to the temple and the erstwhile state did not have any claim on it. Therefore, all the wealth now brought to light is temple property and should remain such within the temple itself. Taking them out and locating them elsewhere in safer places is neither advisable nor desirable."

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