In a major relief for the Travancore royal family, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld their rights in the administration of the historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the court has also approved a committee under the Thiruvananthapuram District Judge to oversee the administration of the temple.
The matter regarding the administration and management of the temple has been pending in the apex court for the last nine years, following charges of alleged financial irregularities.
The Supreme Court in its verdict said, "We allow the appeal of the royal family of Travancore. Death does not affect Shebaitship of the Travancore family. The bench gives a nod for constituting a committee headed by the district judge of Thiruvananthapuram."
A bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra said that as an interim measure, the District Judge of Thiruvananthapuram will head an administrative committee to manage the affairs of the temple.
While making the interim arrangement to manage the affairs of the temple, the apex court said that it will remain in force till a fresh committee is set up.
As per a report in The Week, the temple was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore Royal House which ruled southern Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, Princess Gowri Lakshmibai of the erstwhile Travancore royal family said, "Great God's will prevailed. Will say more about it after going through the whole verdict," following the verdict.
The report added that the temple shot into limelight after the top court in May 2011 had ordered that a detailed inventory of the articles in the temple vault needed to be undertaken. When five of its six vaults were open, vast treasures were discovered, estimated to be more than Rs 90,000 crores.
The Kerala government welcomed the judgement as well. "The state government welcomes the top court order. We still need to analyse the Supreme Court order. The detailed order is yet to come. We will implement the Supreme Court verdict," Minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
With inputs from PTI