The Supreme Court has recognized the authority of the royal family of Travancore in the management of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. After hearing the case on Monday, the court, while giving the verdict, has entrusted the responsibility of arranging and maintaining the temple to the committee headed by the District Judge of Thiruvananthapuram.
It is worth noting that in the Supreme Court, the dispute of management and administration was pending for the last nine years in the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The decision of the Kerala High Court was challenged in the Supreme Court by the former royal family of Travancore. The temple has assets of about two lakh crore rupees.
This magnificent temple of Lord Padmanabha “Vishnu” was renovated by the Travancore royal family in its present form in the 18th century. The same royal family ruled southern Kerala and some parts of Tamil Nadu adjacent to it before merging with the Indian Union in 1947. Even after independence, the temple was operated by a trust controlled by the erstwhile royal family, whose deity is Lord Padmanabha.
A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Indu Malhotra reserved its decision on the petitions challenging the January 31, 2011 judgment of Kerala High Court in the case on April 10 last year. The High Court had asked the state government to form a body or trust to manage the temple, its properties and to operate the temple in accordance with the conventions.
The Supreme Court had to decide whether the state government would manage the richest temple in the country or the former royal family of Travancore. Hearing this issue in the Supreme Court, the question was asked – Is this temple a public property and does it require the establishment of the Devasthanam Board like the Tirupati Tirumala, Guruvayur and Sabarimala temples? The bench can also decide on the extent to which the erstwhile royal family of Travancore will have authority over the temple and whether to open the seventh basement of the temple or not.
The Supreme Court had in May 2011 stayed the High Court’s directive regarding the management of the temple and control over the properties. The Supreme Court had said that a detailed description of valuable items and jewelery will be prepared in the treasury of the temple. The Supreme Court had said on 8 July 2011 that the opening of the temple’s basement-B would be stayed until further orders, in July 2017, the court said it would study claims that a cellar in the temple had immense energy Is a treasure.
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