With a view to cleaning up the administration of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the Supreme Court on Thursday entrusted its administration to a five-member committee headed by the Thiruvananthapuram District Judge.

A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and A.K. Patnaik asked the temple’s Executive Officer to go on leave, and appointed Satish Kumar, a senior IAS officer and former administrator of the Guruvayur temple. It also directed the former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai to undertake the audit of the temple properties, assets, and accounts.

The Bench said, “The five-member committee will comprise the Thiruvananthapuram District Judge, temple Tantri, Chief Nambi, and two more members, of which one will be appointed in consultation with the government.”

In its order, the Bench said, “Until further orders, no property of the temple will be alienated, sold or dealt with in any manner. In case the District Judge was a non-Hindu, the next senior-most Hindu judge in the district will be the administrative committee’s chairman.”

The Bench expressed its dissatisfaction over the manner in which the temple was being maintained and said, “The trustees have failed badly and they have to be changed. If we have to give opportunity to the same persons and returned to them, then God save this temple. We have to look at larger public interest and the interest of the temple.” The Bench ordered that the keys of all lockers except those where vessels were kept for daily use of priests and others be handed over to the District Judge, the chairman of the administrative committee. The Bench warned that no employee of the temple should be intimidated by the members of the royal family.

  • Thiruvananthapuram District Judge to head panel

  • Court says trustees have to be changed

  • SC directs former CAG Vinod Rai to audit temple assets