266 kg gold missing from Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple: Audit report

266 kg gold missing from Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple: Audit report

As much as 266 kg gold is missing from the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here, says former chief government auditor Vinod Rai in his audit report submitted to the apex court.

The highlight of the report that has been obtained by media reveals that out of the 893 kg gold that was given out for various works, only 627 kg has been returned to the temple.

Rai was asked by the Supreme Court last year to conduct an audit of the temple’s books and accounts.

An division bench of justice R M Lodha and Justice A K Patnaik last April in its interim order asked former comptroller and auditor general (CAG) Rai to undertake the audit of the temple accounts and properties for the past quarter of a century.

This directive came on the recommendations of amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam, who had sought overhauling of the functioning of the temple.

Apart from asking Rai to audit the accounts of the temple, the apex court also directed the formation of a new five-member committee comprising of a judge from the capital city, the temple tantri, chief nambi of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple and two more members, of which one will be appointed in consultation with the state government and one would be the choice of the judge.

It was in July 2011 that an apex court committee stumbled upon six vaults in the temple and with just vault B left to be opened, the treasure that has been found in the other five vaults have been estimated to be valued more than Rs 100,000 crore.

Since then, armed security guards besides state of the art security equipment has been deployed for the safe upkeep of this treasure.

Reacting to the new developments, Communist Party of India-Marxist legislator V Sivankutty said that a few years back all hell broke loose when V S Achuthanandan said that things are not going in the way it should go in the temple as far as the priceless treasures upkeep are concerned and blamed the Travancore royal family.

“Look, what Rai has come out in his report. There are some views from some quarters that the issues of this temple should be hushed up. Now with this report, responsibilities should be fixed and those people who have caused this should be brought to light,” he said.

The erstwhile Travancore Royal Family with its headquarters in the capital city is however yet to react on Rai’s report.


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  • It is common knowledge that most of the major & minor temples and religious places in India are hot beds of corruption and there is severe competition among politicians to be appointed as trustees of the temples etc.. All temples (and this includes churches, mosques, gurudwaras, etc.) with hundi collection and donations in excess of, say, Rs.5 lakhs should be subjected to annual audit by qualified auditors on a rotational basis (under the supervision of the C&AG) and a copy of the audit report (with valuer’s report attached to it) should be submitted to the C&AG of India within 6 months of the previous calendar year. The C&AG’s office will have the power to check and verify the contents of the audit/valuation report and make surprise inspections; in case of serious violation, all the trustees should be liable to imprisonment and penalty with power to impound the properties (movable & immovable) of the religious institution. All gold, silver & other precious articles should, either be deposited with the nearest public sector bank or be deposited in the vaults of RBI where the value exceeds, say, Rs.25 lakhs. Apart from recovering hot money stashed in foreign banks, the wealth stored in various religious organizations in India is stupendous and the Finance Ministry in consultation with finance & legal experts should devise schemes to utilize this wealth of the nation for social & secular development of the country. The Finance Ministry may also consider imposition of wealth tax on religious properties above a threshold limit. A comprehensive legislation should be brought forth immediately to regulate all religious places in India and Whistle Blower’s Act should also be made applicable. The murky deals in Shree Padmanabhaswamy temple can be an ideal starting point to cleanse our places of worship. While the govt. & vested interests will not be amenable to religious institutions slipping out of their nefarious control, the Supreme Court will have to take the lead in this case like it did in 2G telecom scam and Coal scam for regulating and instituting proper control & supervision.

  • Even in recent past Jewels from Temples in TN have been tampered and taken by Politician I would like distance to name them. Many of those Politicians have gone through miseries. Another good example Mr R.R,Patil who looted Govt of Maharastra thousands of crores is not there today to enjoy his loot.