In a landmark verdict, Supreme Court on Monday reversed the earlier 2011 HC verdict and asserted the rights of Travancore royal family in the administration of historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, considered to house the biggest treassure in the world.
A bench headed by Justice U U Lalit said that as an interim measure, the District Judge of Thiruvananthapuram will head an administrative committee to manage the temple’s affairs.While pronouncing the judgement, the apex court held that the death of earlier ruler of Travancore royal family does not affect the right of ‘Shebaitship’ (the right to manage the deity and the temple as a priest) of Marthanda Varma, the brother of last ruler of the royal family, and his legal heirs.
The top court said that death of the last ruler of royal family does not entitle the state government to take over the management of committee as law of escheat does not apply in this case and the management of the temple continues to vest in trust of the ruler of Travancore.
A direct consequence of the latest SC ruling is whether the vaults of the temple will be opened or not. While five vaults were opened and an inventory of treasures were made -the sixth Vault, Chamber B was not opened. The royal family had claimed that a mythical curse is associated with the opening of vault B. With the SC ruling royal family will have the final word to open the vault or to deny it.