New Delhi, Opening vault B of Kerala’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple will be considered only after the around Rs.1 lakh crore worth of treasure unearthed from the other five chambers is properly documented, the Supreme Court said Thursday.
The “documentation, categorisation, security, preservation and conservation” of the treasure found from five chambers must be substantially completed, said the apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik.
The security of the temple will be provided by the Kerala government, which will also bear its cost, the court said.
The court directions were based on its examination of the interim report of the expert committee which it constituted in July and other additional information submitted this month.
The court also examined a report furnished by the Kerala government and its assurance to put in place a multi-layered security system for the temple in a time-bound manner.
The court declined suggestions by the expert committee, headed by Director General of National Museum C.V. Ananda Bose, to hand over the security of the treasure to a central paramilitary force.
Pronouncing the order, Justice Raveendran said: “We are satisfied that the state government would be in a position to execute the security plan. There is no need for the state government to requisition the services of any central security agency.”
“In implementing the security system, the state government will take note of temple traditions, customs and practices, and accommodate the views of the temple administration as far as possible and feasible,” the bench said.
On digital archiving of temple antiques, the court said that it should be executed by the state government-undertaking Kerala State Electronic Corporation (KELTRON). It rejected the expert committee suggestion of inviting tenders from private agencies.
The court directed listing of the matter after three months.