India

Gold worth 186 crore missing from Kerala temple

16 Aug 2016 | By Supriya Kaur
The case of the missing temple gold!

A report by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Vinod Rai, revealed that due to financial irregularities and corruption in the temple administration, 769 pots of gold have gone missing.

Mr. Rai has recommended a probe be conducted in this regard.

The audit is being undertaken under directions of the Supreme Court; Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam had recommended an overhaul in the temple's functioning.

In context: The case of the missing temple gold!

BackgroundPadmanabhaswamy Temple case

In 2007, a lawyer filed a case against the custodian of Kerala's Padmanabhaswamy temple alleging mismanagement. The erstwhile royal family of Travancore administers and manages this temple.

The court appointed committees to take inventory.

In 2011 six vaults were discovered; five vaults have been opened and the treasure is estimated to be worth Rs.100,000 crore.

Divine retribution!

There is massive opposition to the opening of the sixth vault (Vault B) as there have been warnings of 'divine retribution'. It is feared that opening the vault could cause personal harm to the royal family or result in calamities in the city.
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State takes over temple

2014State takes over temple

Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam's report in April indicated massive pilferage of the temple's wealth and other criminal acts that occurred on its premises.

Subsequently, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the District Judge to take over the temple's administration from the erstwhile royal family.

Vinod Rai, former CAG, was instructed by the SC to audit the temple's accounts for the past 25 years.

16 Aug 2016Gold worth 186 crore missing from Kerala temple

DetailsMassive financial irregularities

30% of the gold which had been sent to be melted and purified was lost. Gold worth Rs.2.50 crore was lost due to a change in purification ratio.

Silver bars worth Rs.14 lakh were found to be missing.

Over 2 acres of land was sold illegally by the temple in the 1970s of which no records have been found.

Heavily guarded shrine

Since the six vaults were discovered in 2011, the Padmanabhaswamy temple has become one of the most heavily guarded shrines. Over 250 armed policemen have been stationed here and a series of metal detectors and sensors have been installed to ensure the treasure's security.