SC names ex-CAG to audit Kerala temple

SC names ex-CAG to audit Kerala temple

The Supreme Court on Thursday set up a fresh administrative committee under the chairmanship of Thiruvanathapuram district judge for better management of Kerala’s Sree Padamanabhaswamy Temple.

It also appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai for conducting special audit in 16th century shrine, known to have wealth of Rs 1 lakh crore.
A bench of justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik directed for handing over the keys of the ‘Kallaras’ (vaults), containing gold and other precious materials to the chairman of the administrative committee.

In a scathing explanation of their decision, judges said, “The (temple) trustees have failed very badly... they can't continue... if it is returned to them, let God save the temple.”

The administrative panel has been entrusted with the task to install CCTV in temple and has been asked to ensure accounting of ‘kaanikka’ (donation box) once in a week supervised by the chairman.

The court passed a slew of directions relying upon the 500-page report of amicus curiae senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who found that the condition in the temple, being managed by Travancore royal family members as trustees, was pathetic with systemic and regular pilferage.

The bench said, “This is not an ordinary temple. The situation is also not such where ordinary management will be able to manage. We need good people for the purpose. This is the need of the hour.”

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