The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted Sri Marthanda Varma of the royal family four weeks to file his response to amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium’s suggestions for renovation of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and A.K. Patnaik passed this order taking on record two reports of an expert committee.

Earlier, Mr. Subramanium said restoration of the moola vigraha, “which uses katu sharkara yogam, and the other deities in the sanctum sanctorum should be undertaken immediately and suitable parihara done.” The silver sheeveli/utsava idols of Padmanabha, Narasimha and Krishna “have not been kept in proper shape and there are problems with their peethas. These idols have been found to be separated from their bases.”

Mr. Subramanium said, “The temple is in urgent need of renovation and restoration of its priceless architecture, including the murals and the work done by sthapathis at the top of the gopuram.” He suggested that an expert group headed by Dr. M. Velayudhan Nair be set up to undertake this task. Eminent historians such as Dr. M.G. Sashibhooshan, and a representative of Sri Marthanda Varma could be appointed as members.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Sri Marthanda Varma, said periodical maintenance and repairs were being attended to by the temple management. He, however, sought time for filing response to the suggestions and to the report of the expert committee.

Mr. Venugopal drew the court’s attention to reports in Malayalam newspapers and an English daily attributing false statements to the amicus curiae. He said “these are extremely disturbing” and wanted the court to interfere.

The Bench told counsel that it was for the media to show self restraint in such matters. However, the Bench asked Mr. Subramanium to file a proper application so that it could consider passing an appropriate order at the next hearing on October 30.

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