Published On: Wed, Aug 17th, 2016

Temple committee seek probe based on Vinod Rai’s report which reveals 769 gold pots missing – Times of India

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Sree Padmanbhaswamy Temple administrative and executive committee members have seriously considered the recent report submitted to the Supreme Court by the former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai which indicates that the 769 gold pots estimated at Rs 186 crore is missing from the temple vault.

The committee members have also sought for a thorough probe. While, certain sources at the temple term the report presumptuous.The report states that the fact that the number assigned to one of the pots taken out on 1-4-2011 was 1988 would indicate that there were atleast 1988 gold pots in various vaults or kallaras in the temple. After melting 822 gold pots to meet the requirement of gold for ornament works, there should have been atleast 1166 gold pots in hand. But the numbers assigned to gold pots by the Temple expert committee were from 12-4-1 to 12-4-397 which indicate that the total number of gold pots if any in Kallara B were only 397. So the report indicates a discrepancy shortage of 769 gold pots with an aggregate weight of 776 kg which would have an approximate value of Rs 186 crore and calls for a detailed probe.

“Only five pages of the Rai’s report to the Supreme Court has reached us. It brings out the discrepancies about the missing gold pots and vessels at the temple worth Rs 186 crore. It’s a report that runs to 500 pages, which needs to be taken seriously to conduct a proper probe,” said an official at the temple. The later pages explains the way to curb the systemic lapses and to ensure effective temple administration.

When contacted, former CAG Vinod Rai confirmed TOI that he had submitted the latest audit report on the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple to the Supreme Court on March 28, refusing to get into the details.

While, certain sources at the temple indicated that the report is based on presumptions and is riddled with loopholes and lacks depth. “It is presumed that the gold pot is numbered 1998, it could even be the year. It is said that it is from Kallara B, how it could happen when only the outer cellar of the vault has been opened for cleaning twice and not the inner cellar. It cannot be opened due to beliefs and unless the Supreme Court permits that,” said an official at the temple.

Sources close to the Travancore Royal Family told TOI that the family had pointed out about many discrepancies in the temple administration but that has not found any mention. “The royal family members are studying the report and will submit their affidavit soon,” he said.

However, an official at the temple maintained that there would be all attempts to water down the report and to drag filing the counter affidavit so that it is not listed for hearing at the apex court soon.

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