SC for early consensus on Padmanabha temple issue

SC for early consensus on Padmanabha temple issue

Court brushes aside apprehensions of erstwhile royal family's counsel

SC for early consensus on Padmanabha temple issue

The Supreme Court on Tuesday favoured arriving at a consensus among different stake-holders on over a hundred suggestions made by senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam to improve the conditions of Kerala's famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur and A R Dave once again requested Subramaniam, who acted as amicus curiae, to continue assisting the court and brush aside apprehensions of the counsel representing the royal family of Travancore, who managed the 16th century temple in Thiruvanathapuram that is estimated to be housing Rs 1 lakh crore in wealth.

Senior advocates K K Venugopal and Harish Salve, appearing for the family members, contended that Subramaniam overreached his man-date by levelling serious
allegations against them in his report.

Subramaniam had submitted a 500-page report, bringing to light the alleged mismanagement and pilferage in the temple.Venugopal and Harish Salve also alleged that Subramaniam used to visit the temple at 3 am during his 39-day stay and even violated the code of rituals by forcing the priest to perform puja.

In view of sharp criticism, the amicus curiae offered to withdraw from the case, prompting the bench to say, “Having done so much on the issue, we want and request you to be here.”

The court, however, granted two weeks time for the counsel to reach a consensus on certain points to improve the conditions at the temple and posted the case for further hearing on November 28.