NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 19, 2014 (Times Of India): [HPI note: this report should be taken with a grain of salt. Ever since the discovery of the temple's wealth, the state government has been trying to take control of the temple's finances, something they can do only if mismanagement is proven. The temple's present management has challenged this amicus curiae report.)
The untold riches of Thiruvananthapuram's Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, which was discovered three years ago and was estimated at US$16.5 billion, may be getting pilfered, an explosive report on the state of affairs in the temple submitted to the Supreme Court said. Rare jewels, stone-studded crowns, heaps of gold and silver coins, statues and gold, silver and brass platters and lamps, were found in the temple in July 2011, catapulting it overnight to one of the richest in the country.
Amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam, after a 35-day inspection of the temple, told the court in his report about recent discovery of a gold plating machine in the temple premises and expressed apprehension that some original temple gold and ornaments may have been pilfered and replaced with fakes. Subramaniam, tasked to report on the state of affairs of the temple as well as the wealth, said there appeared to be a deep-rooted conspiracy in the apparent mismanagement of the temple wealth and suggested a detailed audit by former comptroller and auditor general Vinod Rai.
Importantly, he urged the court to open Kallara (vaults) 'B' and assess the wealth in it. Till now, Kallara A to F had been opened and valuables listed, except 'B'. There was opposition to the opening of vault 'B' on various counts, which ranged from religious to dogmatic. Interestingly, Subramaniam found two more vaults and named them Kallara 'G' and 'H'. He urged the court to order authorities to open these two new vaults and inventory the valuables.
He also found discrepancies in the general account kept by the temple management and suggested an audit of it. Subramaniam said for the last 30 years, the receipts from devotees had not been accounted for properly and said this was an additional reason for a detailed audit of temple accounts.