In what is being seen as a warning to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams authority regarding the proposed gold plating of the sanctum sanctorum of the famous shrine, the Supreme Court on Tuesday hoped that it would abide by the undertaking of the “Specified Authority” appointed by the state government and not go ahead with the gold plating.
“We make it clear that if the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams decides to review its decision, it must seek prior permission from this court,” a Bench comprising Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly said while considering an application of the Janata Party president, Mr Subramanian Swamy, challenging the temple authority’s decision of gold plating the sanctum sanctorum.
Mr Subramanian Swamy had made a special mention in his application for making him a party to the case in the top court while highlighting archaeological rules, stating that gold plating — the Ananda Nilayam Ananta Swarnamayam project — would destroy the original character of the shrine.
While allowing his plea, the top court refused to modify its earlier order staying the operation of the Andhra Pradesh High Court verdict on November 29, 2010, restraining the TTD Board from taking any further steps regarding the gold plating decision.
Last February, the former TTD chairman, Mr D.K. Audikesavulu Naidu, had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court, seeking the dismissal of the earlier Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement,which had deferred the gold plating project.
Following this several respondents, including Mr Anantarama Sharma, Mr Tallapaka Raghava, Mr Subramanian Swamy and Mr Raghava Reddy had filed writ petitions in the Andhra Pradesh High Court against the Ananda Nilayam Ananta Swarnamayam project.
When contacted, a top official of the TTD said that it had been submitted to the Supreme Court that the gold and cash donations would be returned to the donors or would be utilised for other requirements if the donors agreed; for this the privileges meant for them would continue.
The apex court posted the next hearing in the case on July 15. Asian Age