Eight diamonds, forming part of the naamam (tilak) of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy idol in the eponymous temple in Thiruvananthapuram, are missing, and the Crime Branch is investigating the alleged theft, the amicus curiae reported to the Supreme Court. Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, the amicus in the court-monitored case to bring transparency in the administration of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, said the diamonds were a vital part of the daily rituals.

Mr. Subramanium told the court that the temple’s outgoing executive officer K.N. Satheesh reported the fact of the missing diamonds — used in daily rituals and kept in cellars near the sanctum sanctorum — in May 2017. The alleged “theft” was discovered when the temple treasurer checked the valuables.

Though the stones are officially valued at over ₹21 lakh, Mr. Subramanium suggested that they were worth much more owing to their antiquity. On checking the Muthalpadi (temple treasurer) records, the amicus found that the “missing diamonds” were first mentioned in August 2015. They were again referred to in a report from the priest in March 2016. An FIR was registered in August 2016.

The amicus, however, highlighted that the Administrative Committee never sought an in-depth enquiry into the case of the missing stones and used “vague expressions” to suggest that the diamonds were only “damaged”, and not in fact, lost.

“In fact, if it was not for a direct query from the amicus when he had darshan, the factum of these eight missing diamonds would not have surfaced… It is respectfully submitted that this court may ensure a thorough probe into the matter and seek an urgent status report on the missing diamonds. The amicus curiae believes that the true value of these diamonds is far beyond the figure which has been mentioned in the report of the executive officer,” the report dated June 14, 2017 informed the court.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar is scheduled to hear the case on July 3.

Temple tanks restored

The report further informed the court that the cleaning work in relation to the Mithranandapuram tank, undertaken by the Kerala State Nirmithi Kendra under the supervision of the Executive Officer, has been completed.

“The amicus is extremely happy to record that the work of renovation of the Mithranandapuram tank has been completed to perfection, and in accordance with the traditional rituals; the saligramams have been installed in the tank. The said tank was inaugurated on June 11, 2017,” the report said.

As far as the Padmatheertham tank is concerned, the amicus said work has commenced and is proceeding at a reasonable pace. The amicus has also recommended the name of V. Ratheesan, IAS, for appointment as the Executive Officer of the temple.