Current Affairs

SC handed over the Managership of Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple to the Ruler of Travancore in absolute terms.

SRI MARTHANDA VARMA (D) THR. LRs. & ANR.  VS STATE OF KERALA & ORS.

CIVIL APPEAL NO.2732 OF 2020
[Arising Out of Special Leave Petition (C) No.11295 of 2011]

The King surrendered his Kingdom to the presiding Deity namely, Padmanabha Swamy and declared himself the Dasa or servant of the Lord and assumed the name “Padmanabhadasa”. Marthandavarma ruled Travancore from 1729 to 1758 and after him also the Temple continued to be under the direct management and control of the King.

In the above Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple Case Inter alia Supreme Court order as below

July 13, 2020

Having given our anxious consideration to the rival suggestions, the composition of the Committees as suggested by the appellants deserves acceptance, especially in light of the conclusions arrived by us that the Managership or the Shebaitship of the Temple continues with the Family.

The Administrative Committee and the Advisory Committee shall do well to discharge all their functions including performance of the worship of the deity, maintenance of its properties, diligently and in the best interest of the Temple, and provide adequate and requisite facilities to the worshippers; and

more particularly:-

(a) Preserve all treasures and properties endowed to Sree Padmanabhaswamy and those belonging to the Temple.

(b) Protect all tenanted properties and take appropriate measures to ensure reasonable returns from such tenanted properties.

(c) Ensure that all rituals and religious practices are performed in accordance with the instructions and guidance of the Chief Thantri of the Temple and according to custom and traditions. In temporal matters, the Committees shall be guided by the advice given by the Chief Thanthri. The designation of the Chief Thanthri shall be done in accordance with the customs and traditions.

(d) Shall take appropriate steps to return to the State the amounts expended by the State Government as catalogued in the Chart in paragraph No.44 hereinabove.

(e) All the income accruing to the Temple, as well as the offerings made by the worshippers, shall be expended in the following manner:

(i) To improve the facilities for the worshippers; and

(ii) For such religious and charitable purposes as the Advisory Committee may deem appropriate; and

(iii) In investments that will fetch reasonable returns and ensure that the properties of the Temple are completely safe and secure.

(f) Recover and retrieve any property or funds of the Temple which have been put to misuse or have been in unauthorized occupation or misappropriated.

(g) Shall order audit for the last 25 years as suggested by the learned Amicus Curiae. The audit shall be conducted by a firm of reputed Chartered Accountants. The Advisory Committee shall  also consider what further steps need to be taken for the preservation of the Temple properties, both movable and immovable.

(h) Take appropriate steps for conservation of the Temple and its precincts, as well as for improvement of all the facilities.

(i) Shall consider whether Kallara B is to be opened for the purpose of inventorization. The interim orders dated 27.11.2014 and 04.07.2017 passed by this Court had recorded that Kallara B was not opened, and it was directed that inventorization with respect to said Kallara B be undertaken only after obtaining express orders from this Court. We deem it appropriate to leave this issue to the best judgement and discretion of the Committees.

(j) Conduct all the obligations which from time to time were bestowed on various Committees by this Court including that of the Selection Committee for Sreekovil.

(k) Shall file Reports in this Court by the second week of December, 2020 stating all the developments in brief till then. The next  Report shall be filed after the accounts for the year ending 31.03.2021 are audited.

(l) Shall file the audited accounts and the Balance Sheet with the office of the Accountant General for the State, every year.