In a startling revelation, the Vinod Rai committee special audit report on Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, stated that a lot of financial irregularities and corruption is going on in the temple administration and gold worth Rs 186 crore have gone missing.
The former Comptroller and Auditor-General of India Vinod Rai in a report submitted to the Supreme Court said that approximately 263 kilogram of gold were found to be missing from the ornaments which was taken out from the vaults for purification and melting.
Between 1990 and 2002, the B vault have been opened at least 7 times, said the audit report presented to the SC by Vinod Rai. The Supreme Court had asked Rai in October 2015 to complete the audit and submit its report.
Each gold pot was assigned a special number. Gold utensils with numbers from 1 to 1000 were taken out from the vaults for temple celebrations and used till 2002. After that vessels from 1001 were taken out for use. On April 1, 2011, a vessel taken out bore the number 1988. This means that there were at least 1988 gold pots available in various kallaras, the report said.
As many as 822 gold pots were melted for making jewellery and other ornamental works. Hence the remaining gold pots should have been 1166 but presently gold pots numbering till 397 are only left. So 769 gold pots weighing approximately 776 kg and worth Rs 186 cr has gone missing from the vaults and needs a detailed investigation.
The report said 30 per cent of the gold sent for melting and purification was lost.
The 887 Kg of gold was given for melting, purification and making of ornaments for different works related to the temple during varying periods. But only 624 kg gold was received. There was a loss of 263 kg. The administrative committee of the temple was weak and Rai suggested a revamp.
During the period 2002-2005, Rs 59 lakh worth of gold were lost in the process of purification and melting. In the G vault, silver bars weighing 35 kg and approximately worth Rs 14 lakh also went missing.
During 2009 to 2014, gold and silver worth Rs 14.78 lakh received in the hundi have not been recorded in the register.
The report also states that account register during December 2006 and November 2008 were not given for audit to the Audit Authority.