Kerala

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple: Decision on opening of ‘vault B’ to be taken by governing body comprising of Royal Family, Centre

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said that a decision on the opening of the ‘vault B’ of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple to be taken by the newly forming governing body. After years of legal battles, the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the devotees.

As per the demand in the petition filed by the Travancore Royal family, a new committee should be formed headed by a retired judge from the High Court. Other members of the committee should be from the royal family, the temple trustee, the state government and the central government.

“Existing committee appointed by Supreme Court in 2011 will continue as an interim arrangement till final committee is constituted. Royal family will constitute the final committee. Opening of the Kallara (vault) will be decided by the final committee of royal family as per traditions” the Supreme court ruled today.

According to the ruling by High Court in January 2011, it stated that after the death of the last Maharaja of Travancore, the temple was vested in the government and there was no provision for handing it over to the heirs of the royal family.

The top court’s verdict comes on a batch of appeals filed by the legal representatives of the royal family, including the challenging of the January 31, 2011 verdict of the High Court.

Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma approached the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict. The SC further stayed the order of high court on May 2, 2011 and directed the enumeration of the items in the temple vaults. Later, Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam and former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai submitted a report to the court on the management of the temple and the condition of the property.

The Royal Family and Hindu organisations in the initial stage of enumeration itself have been demanding not to open ‘B vault’.

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