The Kerala government will abide by the Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of the erstwhile Travancore royal family in the administration and management of the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the State capital.
Responding to Monday’s ruling that has put an end to a nine-year dispute, Minister for Devaswom and Tourism Kadakampally Surendran said the government was duty-bound to implement the verdict and would not go in appeal against the ruling.
Asked to comment on reversing the Kerala High Court’s 2011 order that the rights of the erstwhile royal family ceased to exist after the death of the last ruler of Travancore in 1991, the Minister said the government had made its stand clear and the ruling needed to be examined in detail. “We are welcoming the Supreme Court ruling,” he added.
The Supreme Court ruling was clear on the way forward on the opening of the Vault ‘B’ of the temple, the Minister said replying to a query on the stance taken by the State government.
Royal family happy
Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi, niece of the late ruler of Travancore Chithira Thirunal Rama Varma, welcomed the ruling. “It is a victory of the Lord and a blessing to his devotees. The wealth belongs to the Lord and not the royal family. We are thankful to all those who stood by us and waited for so long,” Gouri Lakshmi Bayi, who has authored books on the Padmanabhaswamy and Travancore temples, culture and heritage, said.
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple had gained worldwide attention following the unearthing of treasure in its underground vaults. Former IAS officer and Director General of National Museum C.V. Ananda Bose, who headed the five-member expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court to evaluate the treasures of the temple, said a strong administrative machinery was needed to protect the temple wealth and to manage the day-to-day affairs. “The ruling has come as desired by the devotees,” he added.