The Supreme Court today (Friday) reserved its order on a statement issued by the Shri Padmanabh Swami Mandir Trust (which was formed by the then Travancore royal family). The statement sought exemption from the 25-year audit court order of Shri Padmanabh Swami Mandir last year. A bench of justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela Trivedi reserved its order after hearing arguments from senior advocate Arvind P Datar and senior advocate R Basant on behalf of the temple.
Last year, the Supreme Court had handed over the management of the temple to an administrative committee from the then Travancore royal family. The court directed the governing body to order an audit of the temple’s income and expenditure for the last 25 years. As suggested by Gopal Subramaniam, senior counsel for Amicus Curiae. This audit will be done by a firm of reputed chartered accounts.
Subsequently, the private CA firm involved in the audit work has asked the trust to submit a record of income and expenses thereafter. Against this backdrop, the trust had approached the Supreme Court, claiming that it was an independent body set up in 1965 for the religious functions of the temple and had no role in the day-to-day running of the temple.