New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sided with the erstwhile Travancore Royal family for the administration and control of the renowned Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.
Settling the long-running 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 former royal family.
The court also left it to the former royal family to decide the opening of a secret vault that has been shut for years. The royal family had argued that the opening of the secret vault called Kallara in Malayalam will bring misfortune because of a mythical curse.
A two judge bench of justices UU Lalit and Indu Malhotra also ordered that the District Judge of Thiruvananthapuram will head an administrative committee to manage the affairs of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple till a final committee is constituted by the royal family.
“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 will be decided by the final committee of royal family as per traditions,” the apex court said.
“Don’t consider this as a victory of the royal family. We are perceiving this as a blessing by lord Padmanabha to all his devotees. We express our gratitude to everyone who was going through the pain and hardships,” said the royal family soon after the judgement.
The Kerala government also welcomed the judgement.