Travancore royals to contest temple wealth report in SC

Travancore royals to contest temple wealth report in SC

The Travancore royal family is set to contest in the Supreme Court on Wednesday a report on the alleged mismanagement of the wealth that lies in the vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here.

The family will file an affidavit in the apex court against a report submitted by Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam that has alleged pilferage of temple wealth, according to local reports.

The royal family is expected to contest all the findings by the Amicus Curiae and state that the implementation of the recommendations in the report could hamper the religious rituals and daily administration of the temple which is run by a trust controlled by the family.

In his report submitted to the SC after a month-long analysis, Subramaniam has raised serious apprehensions about the wealth in the temple being pilfered. The report has also recommended an audit of the temple wealth by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai.

A source in the royal family said, without disclosing the contents of the affidavit or the proposed time of its filing, that “The representatives of the family are still in discussion with senior advocates… we are working out details on the affidavit but we’ll be able to say more about this only by afternoon tomorrow (Wednesday).” The SC will consider the Amicus Curiae’s report on Wednesday. The state government is also preparing a response to the Amicus Curiae’s report.

Meanwhile, Raju, a Thiruvananthapuram-based jeweller who is alleged to have received 17 kg of temple gold from the royal family is also set to file an affidavit against the report. The temple jeweller told television channels in New Delhi on Tuesday that he was “pressurised” into making the statement in the report.

“I was asked (by the Amicus Curiae) if I had handed over the gold to anyone or if the gold was carried out of the temple… I had only denied having been part of any such transaction,” he said.

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