No gold-plating of Tirumala temple: TTD to SC

A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly directed the shrine board not to take any decision on gold-plating without prior permission of the apex court after recording an undertaking made by its counsel Sridhar Potaraju.

The court’s decision came on a plea made by former Union minister and Janata Party leader Subramaniam Swamy seeking an order to restrain the TTD from carrying out the gold-plating exercise this summer. He submitted that the TTD was embarking on the exercise of gold-plating by taking advantage of the stay imposed on February 28 by the apex court on the Andhra Pradesh High Court judgment.

The TTD, however, submitted that the board had on January 20 decided against going ahead with the gold-plating. In an affidavit, the TTD said it had no powers to carry out the exercise of drilling thousands of holes in the inner recess adorning the deities in view of the restrictions imposed by Section 2 (a) of the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

The TTD had decided to carry out gold-plating of the temple’s sanctum sanctorum by a resolution dated September 20,2008, a move, which was fiercely opposed by several devotees on the grounds that it was not only against scriptural tenets but also posed a grave threat to the 11th-century shrine.

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