A temporary administrative committee constituted to manage the Padmanabhaswamy Temple told the Supreme Court on Friday that the temple won't be able to pay Rs 11.77 crore to the Kerala government as reimbursement for security and maintenance-related expenditure. The committee stated that the temple is unable to pay the amount due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This committee was one of two constituted to manage the affairs of Padmanabhaswamy Temple till arrangements were made by the former royal family of Travancore. The committee stated that donations to the temple were affected because of the COVID-19 outbreak and sought additional time to pay the dues.
A two-judge SC bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and Indu Malhotra ruled on Friday
that it will not pass an order on the issue at this time. "Let the (Kerala) government consider the request," the Supreme Court said. It added that all its past orders in the case have been followed.
The court has scheduled the case for the second week of September at which point it will consider the matter of auditing the accounts of the temple.
Last year, the Supreme Court had said that the state would initially pay all dues related to security and maintenance of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. It added that the Kerala government would be reimbursed for these expenses at a later date.
After the initial COVID-19 lockdown, the temple had reopened on August 26, 2020, under certain restrictions. The temple closed its doors again on October 12 after 12 staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.