Thiruvananthapuram: Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict on the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, the Travancore Royal family said it is a blessing from Padmanabha Swamy for all devotees.
The SC on Monday upheld the family's rights in the administration of the famed shrine.
In a message, the Royal family said "We regard today's Supreme court verdict as the blessing of Padmanabha Swamy not just for the family, but for all his devotees. We pray for his continued benevolence on all humanity to keep us all safe and well. Thank you all who stood by us in these difficult years. God bless you," a senior member of the royal family Pooyam Thirunal Gowri Parvati Bayi said.
The Kerala government on Monday said it respects and will implement the verdict even as the Congress and BJP maintained it was a big blow to the ruling left front.
Welcoming the apex court decision, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said the government respects the verdict and will implement it.
Setting aside the 2011 Kerala high court order, which had directed the state government to set up a trust to take control of the management and assets of the famed temple, considered one of the richest shrines in the country, the apex court on Monday upheld the rights of the Travancore Royal family in its administration.
While former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the verdict respects the beliefs of the Travancore Royal family and the devotees and dealt a "huge blow" to the state government, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the decision was an endorsement of the stand taken by the previous UDF government.
BJP state president K Surendran said the apex court decision has reaffirmed the party's view that the prerogative to decide on the customs and traditions of temples should be vested with devotees and not with political entities or the government.
He said the judgement is a major setback for the state government and its declared policy on temple governance.
The state government should admit that their stance on temple governance was wrong, Surendran told reporters in Kozhikode.
The judgement also raises questions on the sanctity of the Devaswom Boards in Kerala having politically - appointed government nominees as members, he pointed out.
A bench headed by Justice U U Lalit said that as an interim measure, the District Judge of Thiruvananthapuram will head an administrative committee to manage the affairs of the temple.
The top court delivered the verdict on a batch of appeals, including the one filed by the legal representatives of the Travancore royal family, challenging the January 31, 2011 verdict of the high court in the matter.
The sprawling temple, an architectural splendour in granite, was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore Royal House which had ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before integration of the princely state with the Indian Union in 1947.