Kerala’s Padmanabha Swamy Temple to be managed by ex-royal family: SC rules
New Delhi, July 13: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the rights of the Travancore royal family in the administration of historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala. Settling the nine-year-long dispute, the top court overturned the January 2011 judgment of the Kerala high court which had ruled that the state government should take over the control of the temple from a trust headed by the royal family.
The court also approved a committee under Thiruvananthapuram District Judge to oversee the administration.
"Great God's will prevailed. Will say more about it after going through whole verdict, said Princess Gowri Lakshmibai of the erstwhile Travancore royal family soon after the judgement.
It may be recalled that in 2011, the Supreme Court had ordered a detailed inventory of the articles in the Temple vaults, which had long rumoured to be holding immense riches.
The verdict would be delivered by a Bench comprising, Justices, U U Lalit and Indu Malhotra at 10.30 am.
It was estimated that the intrinsic value of the treasure in the Temple vaults were more than Rs 90,000 crore. One of the vaults, Kallara B could not be opened and the same was kept in abeyance by the Supreme Court.
In 2009, T P Sundarrajan, a former IPS officer had filed a petition before the Kerala High Court praying that the control of the Temple should be handed over to the Kerala Government from the royal family.
The legal dispute lies in the agreement signed between the Kings of Travancore and the Government of India in 1949 by which the princely state of Travancore became part of the Indian Union.
Article VII of the agreement provided that the administration of the Padmanabha Swamy Temple shall be conducted subject to the control and supervision of the ruler of Travancore, by an executive officer appointed by the ruler.