NEW DELHI: In a startling revelation, the Vinod Rai committee special audit report on Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, stated that a lot of financial irregularities and corruption is going on in the temple administration and gold worth Rs 186 crore have gone missing.
According to sources, the report by former Comptroller and Auditor general Vinod Rai are in two volumes and five parts running into 1,000 pages. The Supreme Court had asked Rai in October 2015 to complete the audit and submit its report.
This directive came on the recommendations of amicus curiae and senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who had sought overhauling of the functioning of the temple.
The report states that there is a loss of 263 gold on the name of purification and states that gold worth Rs 186 crore in the form of 769 gold pots are not traceable.
Rai, in his report, has recommended a committee probe to oversee these irregularities.
“Gold worth Rs 2.50 crore was lost because of change in ratio adopted for purification.
Moreover, the residual quantity of gold was not recovered from the contractor which lead to a loss of Rs 59 lakhs,” sources said.
“There was a lack of transparency in Kanikka counting. Gold and silver worth Rs 14.18 lakh had not been entered in the Nadavarav register, which is illegal,” according to the report.
“Silver bar with value of Rs 14 lakh was found to be missing,” the report said.
The temple trust illegally sold 2.11 acres of land in 1970 and no records were found.
The report also expressed surprise over the sudden increase of expenditure in temple management over several years and termed it as “abnormal”.
The committee has also recommended major changes in the temple administration system and suggested that it should now be a seve-member committee headed by a retired section-level officer, tantric, two prominent citizens, representative of state and the royal family.
The report also suggested major changes in the temple’s security arrangements and said, “Priceless items in the temple should be housed in a modern museum and security installments need to be altered a bit.”
The audit was done for the financial year 2004-2014.
In July 2011 the 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, have been deployed for the safe upkeep of the treasure.