Sri Marthanda Varma (D) Thr. LRs & Anr. Vs. State of Kerala (Civil Appeal No. 2732 of 2020) - Synopsis
Team SoOLEGAL 31 Dec 2020

The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra in the case Sri Marthanda Varma (D) Thr. LRs & Anr. Vs State of Kerala (Civil Appeal No. 2732 of 2020), affirmed the Shebait rights of the former Travancore royals in the governance, conservation and management of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram in a striking and brilliant decision.
Though retaining the rights of the former Travancore Royal Family as the Shebait of Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram, the Supreme Court ordered that the powers of 'the Ruler of Travancore' under the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act (TC Act) be delegated to the Administrative Committee appointed by the court with respect to temple administration.
The recommendations relating to the Board of Directors and the allocation of powers were, in particular, made by the family itself. The Supreme Court affirmed the interests of the former Travancore royal family in the Thiruvananthapuram administration of Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple. Justice UU Lalit & Justice Indu Malhotra overturned the High Court of Kerala's order that family rights ceased to exist with the death of the last Travancore king in 1991, enabling an appeal lodged by members of the Travancore family. The Court said that the death of the last king would not result in escheating the privileges in favour of the state.


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