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Kerala temple treasure case: SC verdict today

Sep 16, 2011 08:42 AM IST India India

Thiruvananthapuram: Vault B of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram may now be opened following a Supreme Court order. CNN-IBN accessed an interim report by an expert committee to the Supreme Court. In its report dated August 23, the committee has given three reasons to open the vault.

The reasons are: to ascertain the quantity and quality of valuables for inventory management, to ascertain the condition and structure of the vault to strengthen security and strengthening the structure will prevent attempts to steal the treasure via a tunnel from outside.

The Tranvancore royal family that runs the trust that runs the temple has all along opposed the move. It says vault B has not been opened for over a century as it is closely associated with the divinity of the temple.

Travancore Royal Family's lawyer MK Menon said, "In tomorrow's hearing in SC the most important issue will be security of the temple. Opening of vault B is not on the agenda of expert committee. It will be looked at later stage as indicated by the committee constituted by Supreme Court."

It all began when Sundararajan, a lawyer approached the Kerala High Court seeking transparency in the running of the temple. When the High Court ordered the State government to take over the temple, the royal family appealed to the Supreme Court, which in turn appointed an expert committee for stock taking and scientific evaluation of the temple's wealth.

The expert committee has insisted on opening Vault B in this security interim report submitted to the Supreme Court of India. While the royal family maintains that as per the findings of the devaprasnam this should not be done. It is a tightrope walk between faith and law. All eyes are on whether the Supreme Court will pronounce its decision and clear the air.