Court order comes on fresh affidavit by Executive Officer

The Supreme Court on Wednesday constituted a four-member conservation and restoration committee for undertaking structural and chemical conservation and conservation of intangible heritage works in Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram as suggested by the Archaeological Survey of India.

A Bench comprising Justices R.M. Lodha and A.K. Patnaik passed the order on a fresh affidavit filed by the Executive Officer of the temple, accepting most of the recommendations in the report of the amicus curiae and senior counsel, Gopal Subramanium.

The Bench said while Velayudhan Nair would be the chairman of the committee, the members would be Adithya Varma, Sashi Bhooshan and the Executive Officer.

The court said the panel should take the advice of Kanippayyoor Sankaran Namboothirippadu, Vastu expert, under the overall supervision of the temple Tantri.

While undertaking the renovation work, the committee should take note of the temple administration’s submissions that religious sanctity and Agama Sastras should be kept in mind.

On strengthening Kallara A, the Bench granted time till January 31 for completing the work. Regarding the Kallaras C, D and E, the Bench said the temple administration had expressed its difficulty in matching 50 per cent of funds.

In view of this, the Bench permitted the temple to create a separate conservation fund and to open a new bank account to receive voluntary contributions and donations from government and non-governmental organisations. There must be proper audit and necessary guidelines for this purpose, the Bench said.

Single recognised union

The judges permitted the temple administration to elect a single recognised union exclusively from among the employees of the temple.

Earlier, Mr. Subramanium submitted that there was good improvement as most of his suggestions had been accepted by the temple management.

The main idol had been repaired and the entire area had been brightened up and this resulted in a 20-fold increase in visit of devotees to the temple.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the temple, said the Executive Officer had filed an affidavit accepting the suggestions.

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