To tighten noose around charitable and religious organisations in the country enjoying exemptions on tax paid, Income-Tax department has issued a notice to authorities of Kerala's famous Chottanikkara Bhagavathy temple near Kochi, seeking details of gold stock kept in the shrine.
The development came following reports that gold stocks were sold in bulk at the temple soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes last week.
IT sources said temple authorities have been asked to provide details of one month sale of gold lockets. Details of those who purchased gold lockets have also been sought, they said.
Authorities of the temple, however, sought to downplay the incident. A temple official said the IT Department had only asked them to provide details of gold stocks at the shrine.
The temple, visited by thousands of devotees from all across the country, is under the administration of Cochin Devaswom Board.
Meanwhile, sources said Cochin Devaswom Board has instituted an internal probe following reports that the temple witnessed a 'gold rush' on November 9 and 10.