T.P. Sundara Rajan (70 Year-old), member of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court to take an inventory of the underground vaults at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, passed away in Thiruvananthapuram early on Sunday morning at about 12.45 am.
Sundararajan was also part of the seven-member panel formed by the Supreme Court that was directed to inspect the vaults. On July 15, the Supreme Court stayed its earlier order for the opening of the vaults and videography of their contents.
The court was dissatisfied over the security of the existing treasures revealed in the five vaults. A sixth and last vault remains unopened. The court clearly stated that the treasure belonged to the temple. With Sundararajan’s death, a question mark hangs over the fate of the Supreme Court petition.
Advocate TP Sunderarajan, the 1964-batch IPS officer whose legal intervention led to the stock-taking of Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple’s colossal assets, Sunderarajan had resigned from the Intelligence Bureau in 1974 to care for his ailing father T.K. Padmanabha Iyer who had lost his eyesight following a bout of diabetes. While in IB, he was a part of the inner security ring of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
While some said his sudden death was divine retribution, others asserted he was not put through any suffering of old age. Stories of how tragedy had befallen those who entered the shrine, too, did the rounds during the day, but these could not be confirmed.