The Supreme Court today said the only unopened vault of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala will remain closed for now.
An apex court bench of Justice RV Raveendran and Justice AK Patnaik hearing the case said: “Secret Vault B is not being opened now… but we will take a decision and do not propose to hand over the decision to others. Impractical or superstitious decisions and security can’t go hand in hand.”
The apex court said tradition and customs would be protected as far as possible in providing overall security to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
“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 opening the vaults (Kalaras) in the temple.
The Bench, which vowed to maintain 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.
The Bench was told the expert committee has suggested several measures for security and preservation of the temple wealth for which there was a need of its direction.
Senior advocate Dhruv Mehta said a proposal for electronic security has been received by KELTRON (Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd).
He said the committee has recommended maintenance of security around the walls of the temple by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which has been opposed by Kerala government which wants that state police force to be deployed.
The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram shot into fame as the richest in the country after wealth, including jewels and gold, were found there in vaults sealed for over 150 years.
A total of six vaults were found, with two more vaults of wealth discovered later.
The four vaults that were opened in the temple first revealed wealth valued around Rs 90,000 crore.