On Sunday, Indu Malhotra, a retired Supreme Court justice, blamed the leftist governments in Bharat for occupying Hindu temples to profit from their wealth. She had come to the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram for Bhagwan Vishnu’s blessings. The retired judge spoke to devotees near the temple premises after the darshan. She is in Kerala to attend the Trivandrum Medical College’s platinum jubilee festivities.
Indu said the Communist administration wanted to take over temples for their wealth. The revenue is their issue. She accused that they occupy only Hindu temples all over Bharat. The former judge added that she and Justice UU Lalit concurred, “No, we won’t let it happen.”
In the recent past, the Supreme Court had decided that the Travancore royal family would have the authority to maintain and oversee the centuries-old temple. The royal family questioned the 2011 Kerala High Court judgment that granted rights to the Kerala government to seize temples. The Supreme Court ruled that the right of the royal family to manage the temple and the shrine did not cease with the demise of the ruler Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma. He signed the agreement to join Bharat in 1949 and passed away in 1991.
The supreme court formed a five-member governing body for the management and administration of the temple. It is currently managed by an administrative committee consisting of the Thiruvananthapuram district judge, a nominee from the royal family, the Government of Kerala, the Central Government Ministry of Culture, and the Chief Tantri of the temple.
That judgment was delivered by Justice Lalit, the current Chief Justice of India, and Justice Indu. Back then, Communists, Christians, and Islamists had opposed the decision.
In 2018, a five-judge constitution panel favored women’s access to Sabarimala. Four male judges had ruled that denying women access to the Lord Ayyappa Shrine constituted gender discrimination. Justice Indu was the lone one that opposed the decision.
Justice Indu stated in her disagreement with the Sabarimala ruling that “issues of deep religious sentiments should not be ordinarily interfered with by the court.” She opined that Article 14 could not be used to judge the religious practices at the hill temple. Women between ten and fifty are prohibited from entering Sabarimala Temple. Article 14 deals with equality before the law.
The local media branded her remarks about the communists as “controversial” and added that she acted per the “Sangh Parivar agenda”.