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CPI-M seeks probe into temple wealth mismanagement

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CPI-M seeks probe into temple wealth mismanagement
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Thiruvananthapuram: With the amicus curiae in Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple case bringing to light alleged mismanagement of the temple wealth, CPI-M Sunday demanded a comprehensive probe to bring out the truth.

The Kerala secretariat of the party also asked the state Government to think about estalishing an administrative set-up for the temple and its huge assets by keeping the Travancore royal family out.

Amicus Curiae Gopal Subraminam had even come across instances of gold being smuggled out allegedly with the connivance of the trustees. These findings should be taken seriously by the government and an appropriate stand taken in the case pending in the Supreme Court, a party statement said.

In his report, the amicus curiae had found "serious lapses" in management of the shrine and the invaluable wealth its underground vaults contains and called for scientific auditing of the treasures.

The report submitted last week urged the Supreme Court to order audit of the treasures by a competent team, preferrably led by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai.

The report also wanted the court to restrain the head of the Travancore Royal family from interfering in the day-to-day affairs of the temple as its trustees.

Casting a shadow on the trustees, the report said though they had opposed opening one of the vaults identified as 'Kallara-B", there had been eyewitness accounts of it being opened some year ago.

Subramaniam, who drew up the comprehensive report staying for several days in the Kerala capital, cited several instances of "mismanagement" and even the possibility of organised extraction by highly placed persons.

The family shrine of the Travancore royal house that ruled South Kerala for centuries, Sree Padmanabhawamy temple hogged worlwide media glare in 2011 as a court-ordered inventory confirmed that its underground vaults contained huge treasures.

With a litigant seeking higher transparency in the management of the shrine and its riches, the apext court ordered the inventory of the treasures.

The royal house has approached the Supreme Court against the High Court order directing the government to look into the possibility of the taking over the temple.

PTI

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