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SC verdict on Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple – Victory for the people and restoration of a key secular principle

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The controversy over the administration and management of the historic temple was pending in the apex court for last nine years in the wake of charges of alleged financial irregularities.

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with the erstwhile Travancore Royal family for the administration and control of the Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala. Settling the long-running dispute, the top court overturned the January 2011 judgment of the Kerala high court which had ruled that the state government should take over the control of the temple from a trust headed by the former royal family.

“Great God’s will prevailed. Will say more about it after going through the whole verdict,” said Princess Gowri Lakshmibai of the erstwhile Travancore royal family soon after the judgment.

The temple was under the control of a trust headed by the ex-royals’ family until April 2014 when the top court by way of a crucial interim order handed over its management to a four-member administrative committee headed by a district judge.

The legal genesis of the dispute lies in the agreement of accession (agreement) signed between the Kings of Travancore with the Government of India in 1949 by which the princely state of Travancore became a part of the Indian Union.

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