Today, the Supreme Court rejected the Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Trust’s plea for exemption from audit. The audit is due for the last 25 years and was ordered by the apex court last year. According to the SC, the procedure of audit not only concerned the temple but also the trust and must be conducted within the next three months.
“It is clear that the audit contemplated was not intended to be confined to the temple only but with respect to the trust. This direction has to be seen in light of the reports of the amicus curiae in the case as recorded in order dated 2015,” said a bench which was headed by Justice UU Lalit and composed of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi.
The Administrative Committee of The Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, on September 19, told the court about the major financial crisis it was facing. According to them, the offerings which they were receiving were not sufficient enough to run the expenses of the temple.
They said this while seeking an audit of the trust associated with the temple which was run by the royal family of Travancore. Due to the Covid-19 most of the temples in Kerala have been temporarily closed.
This has curtailed down the monthly earning of the temple to 60-70 lakhs, while the expenses per month sum up to 1.25 crore. It is in this light that they have sought a direction, believes advocate R Basant who was appearing for the committee.