New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Kerala government on the steps that could be taken for the safety of valuable ornaments bequeathed to deity of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala temple by the royal family of Pandalam.
Noting that the ornaments are being kept in a strong room located in the Pandalam palace, Justice N.V.Ramana heading a bench asked, “Why these ornaments are being kept in palace and not given to temple for protection. They (ornaments) belong to Lord Ayyappa, once you have given to Lord.”
A senior advocate appearing for the section of royal family seeking to be impleaded in the matter said that sacred ornaments belonged to the Pandalam royal family as a whole which are taken out once a year and worn by the eldest son of Raja.
“All right, we are not disturbing the practice. We respect all,” Justice Ramana said asking, “Why we should allow the valuable ornaments in the hands of some. There should be one responsible officer to look after them. Ultimately these ornaments have to be given to God only. Question is of custody.”
Having aired its concern over the security of the ornaments, the court asked senior counsel Jaideep Gupta appearing for the Kerala government to take necessary instructions from the state on their safety.
The court sought the safety and security of the ornaments as one of the senior members of the royal family Raja Varma and some others seeking to be impleaded in the case expressed apprehension that that the president, secretary and the treasurer, who hold the custody and the key to the strong room, may appropriate the valuables.
“There is a strong move on the part of the president, secretary and treasurer of the second appellant to appropriate the sacred ornaments of Lord Shree Ayyappa as the property belonging to the Valiakoikkal branch of the Pandalam royal family,” said some members of the royal family seeking to intervene in the matter.