India

Padmanabha Swami Mandir Trust to have to audit income and expenditure for 25 years: Supreme Court

The Padmanabha Swamy Mandir Trust in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, will have to conduct an audit of its income and expenditure for the last 25 years, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. A three-member bench comprising Justice UU Lalit, Justice SR Bhat and Justice Bella M Trivedi passed the order. The audit should include financial expenditure of both the temple and the trust and the audit should be completed within a period of three months, the bench said. The Padmanabha Swamy Temple is built by the Travancore dynasty.

The Padmanabha Swamy Mandir Trust had moved the court last year seeking relief from the Supreme Court’s audit. The trust argued that (according to an earlier court order) the trust was set up only for matters relating to worship and rituals. The trust has no authority to do anything regarding temple administration. Therefore, since its existence is separate from the temple, it should not be included in the audit.

The temple’s administrative committee, chaired by a district judge, argued that the temple administration was in financial trouble because of Corona. Donations do not come because of the corona, moreover there is no income as the temple is closed for devotees. Therefore, there are difficulties in meeting the daily expenses. Senior advocate R Basant, appearing for the governing body, told the court that all the temples in Kerala were closed due to the corona. The monthly cost of this temple is around Rs. 15 crores, but at present only Rs. Therefore, there are difficulties in running the temple, so the contribution of the trust is important.

 

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