New Delhi: The Supreme Court has allowed the Management of the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Tamil Nadu to approach the Madras High Court with its prayer that it should be allowed to carry out requisite repairs and renovations in the historic temple.
A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao asked the temple management to approach the High Court itself with its prayer on repairs.
"Gopal Subramanium submits that the petitioners would get satisfied in case they are permitted to move before the High Court for carrying out certain repairs and renovations in the temple premises. We see no reason to decline that prayer.
"The petitioners are free to approach the High Court in which event the High Court may examine the prayer in the context of not only the statutory provisions, if any, applicable to the situation, but also the propriety of the need for carrying out the repairs and renovations as indicated by the petitioners," the bench said.
The temple management has challenged the Madras High Court order staying repair and renovation works on the apprehension that this would cause damage and destruction to historical and archaeological heritage of the temple complex.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the temple management, said as a result of the High Court stay, temple worship in Tamil Nadu has come to a virtual halt.
He argued that a "living temple" cannot be treated as a "monument" and the repair and renovation works were being strictly carried out in accordance with the Hindu religious prescriptions followed by the temples -- the 'Agamas' and the 'Shilpa Shastra'.
Subramanium also submitted a list of changes being made in the temples to the Court and some photographs and said they should be allowed to approach the High Court with the prayer.
The bench considered the prayer and disposed of the plea.
The Madras High Court had initiated the proceedings after taking suo moto cognizance of the issue on the basis of media reports in connection with repair and renovation works in Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam and other temples across Tamil Nadu.