Are Lord Ayyappa’s ornaments safe at Pandalam palace, asks SC

B. Balagopal / Mathrubhumi News

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The Kerala government informed the SC by word that it was ready to take over the ornaments.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Kerala government to inform by Friday if the gold ornaments belonging to Sabarimala temple were secure at Pandalam palace.

The apex court said that disputes were intense in the Pandalam palace and asked if the government could take over the ornaments. The Kerala government informed the SC by word that it was ready to take over the ornaments.

The SC was considering a petition regarding the ‘devaprashnam’ at Sabarimala. While considering the petition last time, the Kerala government was directed to enact special laws for Sabarimala. It is in this situation that disputes intensified at the Pandalam palace.

The petition was filed by P. Rama Varma Raja. Twelve more members of the royal family had sought to become parties in the case. They later informed the SC that the ornaments in possession of the royal family was not safe.

Advocates of the petitioners informed that the ornaments were in the custody of the sitting president and secretary of the Pandalam palace implementation committee and that they were not discussing matters with the royal family.

Following this, the bench led by justice N. V. Ramana asked how the ornaments were safe in the possession of the royal family.

At one point, justice Ramana asked the government advocate if the state was ready to take over the ornaments. Senior advocate Jayadeep Gupta informed that according to the Devaswom manual, Ayyappa’s ornaments were to be kept in the state treasury.

Gupta however, explained that he cannot inform the government’s decision without information from the state. Following this, the court gave time till Friday to inform whether the ornaments were safe at the Pandalam palace.

The SC is likely to consider the matter with priority on Friday.

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