Saturday, 9 July 2011

Supreme Court bars opening of Kerala temple's sixth vault

The Supreme Court Friday said that the sixth vault of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala will not be opened till the treasure recovered so far is properly documented.
An apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik said that the the sixth vault (Kallara B) will not be opened till the treasure recovered from Kallara A is videographed, photographed and its inventory is prepared.
The court directed that the Kallara A which has been resealed, will not be reopened till arrangements are made for its videography and photography and a curator is appointed to assess the antiquity and valuation of its treasure.

The court also took note of a statement by former prince of the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore, Sree Marthanda Varma, who is the chief trustee of the temple that the former royal family has no claim over any part of the treasure found in the temple.
The temple belongs to the public and the treasure belongs to the temple deity, Varma's counsel K.K. Venugopal added.
The court also noted the statement of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that the government has no claim over the treasure.
The Supreme Court had appointed a seven-member committee in May, to open the vaults of the temple, which led to the discovery of huge treasure estimated to be around Rs.1 lakh crore.
There are six vaults in the temple, five of which have been opened.

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