The Supreme Court on Friday said tradition and customs would be protected as far as possible in providing overall security to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala.
“We will ensure that the tradition is respected. We will maintain the tradition and the customs as far as possible. But where security measures will have to prevail, some concessions have to be made,” a bench comprising Justices R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik said.
The Bench made the remarks while reserving its order for September 21 on the issue of passing orders on security arrangements and preservation of assets of the ancient temple.
The court, which perused the report of the expert committee appointed by it and the affidavit of the Kerala government on the issue, will also take a call on the possibility of the opening of the vaults (Kalaras) in the temple.
The Bench, which vowed to maintain the traditions, however, clarified superstitions and popular belief would not come in its way in taking the decision.
“We will go by the tradition and the customs. That doesn’t mean that superstitions and popular belief would come in the way. Don’t think, we would compromise,” the Bench said.
Further, there has been a proposal for limiting the entry points to the temple and for regulating the traffic on the periphery of the temple, the committee said adding there was also a need to arrange the power back-up.
Mr. Mehta, who was appearing for one of the petitioners who had filed the petition in the Kerala High Court, said the state government was high on promise and low on performance and has proposed Rs 2.80 crore per year for the upkeep of the security and other measures.
The court in its July 21 order had maintained that the funds have to be shared by the temple administration and the State government.
Kerala government counsel told the bench that it would accept an order by it for fixing a reasonable share of fund.
The Bench agreed with the view that inventorisation and security measures must start at the earliest.
The court had on July 21 appointed a five-member expert committee to supervise the unearthing and preservation of assets of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
The committee is headed by Director General of National Museum C.V. Ananda Bose and consists of representatives of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The court had also appointed a three-member committee to oversee the work of unearthing of the temple’s assets.
The overseeing committee consists of retired judge of Kerala High Court, Justice M.N. Krishnan, the erstwhile Prince of Travancore Marthanda Varma and a government representative of the rank of secretary.