The Supreme Court, on Thursday, appointed the senior advocate and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium amicus curiae in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple case to render assistance and to represent the expert committee going into the security, inventory and other aspects related to the temple.
A Bench, comprising Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice A.K. Patnaik, made the appointment considering the fact that till now, no counsel had represented the committee.
K.K. Venugopal, senior counsel appearing for Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, head of the ruling family of erstwhile Travancore, referred to the fifth report submitted by the expert committee, and said the panel had made enquiries about Executive Officer V.K. Harikumar from the State Home Department and wanted his removal from the committee. Since the Executive Officer had a vital role, the committee’s interference would hamper his functioning. His removal should not be done for political reasons.
P.B. Suresh and Vipin Nair, counsel for the respondents, told the Bench that the enquires were made against the Executive Officer because of his adverse antecedents. The committee had clearly stated the reasons in its report, he said. The committee, in its interim report, explained the progress made in the inventory of the treasure in the temple vaults and steps taken towards strengthening the security. Justice Patnaik made it clear to the counsel for the Kerala government that “We don’t want any political interference as far as this temple is concerned.’’
Keywords: Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple case