On 13th July the Apex Court of the Country upheld the rights of the Travancore Royal Family’s Right with respect to Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The court allowed the appeal filed by the Travancore Family. The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the January 31, 2011 verdict of the Kerala High Court. The verdict of the Kerala High Court was that they have asked the State Government to set up trust to take control of the Shree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala. Aggrieved by the Kerala High Court Judgment the Travancore Royal Family filed a case in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said “The Royal Family of Travancore will continue as temple ‘shebait’ (priests).
Futher the Supreme Court said that an administrative committee will be created to manage temple affairs and a district Judge will be the head of the admin panel. In the 18th Century the Travancore Royal House had got the idea of creating such an architectural Splendour in granite.Travancore Royal (family) House ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before integration of the princely state with the Indian Union in 1947. Even after India’s independence on 15 august 1947, the temple continued to be governed by a trust controlled by the erstwhile Royal family for whom Lord Padmanabha (Vishnu) is their deity.
A bench headed by;
Justices U U Lalit and Indu Malhotra had on April 10 2019 reserved its Judgment on the pleas challenging the January 31, 2011 verdict of the Kerala High Court in the matter. The HC had directed State Government to take steps to set up a body or trust to take control of the temple’s management and assets. Apart from such task the Court further addressed to run the Padmanabha swamy temple in accordance with the traditions.
The Supreme Court had on 2nd May 2011 stayed the High Court directions regarding taking over of the assets and management of the Temple. The Supreme Court also directed that there shall be a detailed inventory of the articles, valuables, ornaments, in Kallaras (vaults). On July 8 2011, the Supreme Court had said that “opening of Kallara ‘B’ is to be kept in abeyance till further orders”.
In July 2017, the Supreme Court had said it would examine the claims and will interfere in the matter that one of the vaults the temple contained extraordinary treasures with “mystical energy”. The controversy over the administration & management of the historic temple was pending in the apex Court for last nine years in the wake of charges of the alleged financial irregularities.
The apex Court further stated that
death of ruler does not result in escheatment of property to Kerala Government, despite the 26th Ammendment (to terminate the privy purses and privileges of the Ruler of Former Indian State) of the Constitution. The Court however, has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the District Judge, who will be the administrative head.