SC may hand over keys of Kerala temple to judicial officer

SC may hand over keys of Kerala temple to judicial officer

The Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated that it may hand over the keys of the ‘Kallara’ (vaults) in Kerala’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, in Thiruvananthapuram, estimated to contain treasures worth Rs one lakh crore, to a judicial officer.

A bench of Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik agreed with the concern expressed by Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam over the poor conditions of the 16th century temple, describing it as “serious”. The court said that it would pass its order on Thursday after taking up the submission of the petitioners, including members of the Travancore royal family and the state government, into consideration.

Subramaniam, who submitted a 500 page report after making an on-the-spot assessment at the temple for 35 days, pointed out that during his visits, among other things, systematic pilferage was going on with regard to unaccounted invaluable items stored in different rooms and gold plating and sheeting machines were being used for the purpose.

Appearing before the court, he said that an order was required to be passed to prepare an inventory of all the items in the vaults and the lands of the temple so that no alienation of rights could take place in the lands registered in the name of the deity.

Highlighting the pathetic conditions on the temple premises, he pointed out that even the water tank in the temple had not been cleaned for years.

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