THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former CAG Vinod Rai, in a status report submitted to the Supreme Court, has stated that there were evidences that vault-B of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple was opened in the recent past. The report also said prima facie there was a lack of financial control of the custody and use of precious articles in the temple.
Rai’s report said the records with the temple muthalpidi (treasurer) showed that the vault was opened twice in 1990 and five times in 2002.
“Silver ingots were taken out and gold vessels were deposited and subsequently taken out as evidenced from the entries in the Mahassar books and registers maintained by the muthalpidis,” the report said.
The royal family had earlier opposed the opening of vault-B for inventorying citing it was against traditions. Following this, the SC-appointed committee postponed the inventorying of vault-B and is about to complete the process in other vaults. The SC, as recommended by amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium, had entrusted Rai to audit the revenue and accounts of the temple for the past twenty-five years. Rai has suggested to conduct the audit of the past fifteen years in the first phase and the preceding ten years in the second phase. The royal family on Tuesday stated that the main door of the vault was not opened.
AUDIT NOTES ISSUED
Vinod Rai said the Special audit authority headed by him has served 72 audit notices to the temple management calling for the latter’s remarks on various deficiencies and discrepancies. The authority is yet to get replies for most of the queries, he said in the report.
Rai also asked the apex court to grant `60 lakh fund for the audit process. The government may be directed to allot `48 lakh and `12 lakh may be sought from the temple management, the report said.