The erstwhile Travancore Royal family, which had earlier managed the famous Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvanathapuram, on Tuesday said media reports about a court appointed committee finding alleged financial irregularities and missing gold pots had caused it “extreme mental agony”.
The Royal family was reacting to reports which said the committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai had found “abnormal” increase in the expenditure at the temple and gold pots valued at Rs 186 crore had gone missing and that it had recommended constitution of a panel to probe the “irregularities”. The family in a statement said the report had been submitted to the Supreme Court and the court will hear all the parties after which it will take a final decision.
“The media reports have come out this way and it has caused the Palace extreme mental agony. This type of report will cause a big misunderstanding among the people,” it said. The statement said the Rai committee had submitted the report without seeking any type of explanation from temple
Executive Officer, Treasurer or those in responsible positions during the period from April 2002 to April 2014 or from anyone from the Royal family.
“… any type of explanation had not been sought from the Executive Officer, Treasurer or those holding responsible positions during the period… Not only that, they have also not made any attempt to elicit information in this regard from the Palace,” it said. The report about missing pots had been made on the basis of numbers marked on the pots. “The Palace has no information whether there is any basis for this report or if it has any connection with reality,” it said.
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The richest temple is now under the administration of a committee appointed by the Supreme Court as a case is pending in the court over issues related to its management. The Administrative Committee is headed by district and sessions judge. The Padmanabha Swamy temple shot to international fame after treasures worth crores of rupees were found in the secret vaults of the temple basement four years ago.