The Supreme Court on Tuesday clarified that if the Thiruvananthapuram District Judge is non-Hindu, the seniormost Additional District Judge in the district could be appointed as the chairperson of the temple administrative committee. The landmark SC judgment pronounced in July said that all the members in the committee should be Hindus.
The SC expressed its satisfaction at an affidavit of undertaking filed by the Travancore royal family concerning the temple management. A Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit noted that the affidavit is “completely consistent” with the directions given by the court in its July verdict.
The apex court also gave four weeks time to set up the administrative and advisory committees. The SC also approved temple trustee Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma’s appeal to permit the appointment of a retired Kerala High Court judge in the advisory committee.
The court approved the demand that the retired High Court judge chosen by the advisory panel of the temple administration should be a Malayalee. The court said a retired high court judge of Kerala should be the chief of the advisory panel. The court permission was on the application of Temple trustee Rama Varma.
In July, the Supreme Court had upheld the rights of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore in the administration and management of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple
. Putting an end to the nine-year-long dispute, the apex court overturned the January 2011 judgment of the Kerala High Court, which had ruled that the state government should take over the control of the temple from a trust headed by the former royal family. The order was passed by a Bench of Justices UU Lalit and Indu Malhotra.