Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], July 13 (ANI): The priests of Chilkur Balaji Temple, led by Dr M V Soundararajan, hailed the Supreme Court for its verdict, which it upheld the rights of the Travancore royal family in the administration of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, one of the world's richest temples, in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram.
"Today's verdict of Supreme Court on Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple case is a victory for dharma. The rights of 'padmanabhadasas' who have been serving Sree Padmanabhaswamy for over a millennia has been upheld for centuries to come by the Supreme Court," Soundararajan said.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court upheld the rights of the Travancore royal family in the administration of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
Allowing the appeal filed by members of the Travancore family, the apex court observed that the death of the Travancore ruler, who signed the covenant, does not affect the rights of the Shebaitship Travancore family over the temple and it will survive as per the customs.
A bench headed by Justice UU Lalit, as an interim arrangement, approved a committee under Thiruvananthapuram District Judge to oversee the administration to manage the affairs of the temple till the constitution of a new committee.
The last ruler of Travancore, until his death on July 20, 1991, continued to manage the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple by virtue of powers conferred on him. The issue had reached the court in the wake of charges of alleged financial irregularities.
The top court's judgement came on a batch of petitions challenging a Kerala High Court's order dated January 31, 2011, which had directed the state government to take steps to set up a body or trust to take control of the temple, its assets and management.
The century-old Vishnu temple was traditionally managed by the temple's heirs, former Travancore ruler Marthanda Varma, for more than 1,000 years. (ANI)