The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Trust will now have to face a special audit for the past 25 years, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.
The apex court noted that the special audit was intended for the temple and the trust, while rejecting the application filed by the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Trust seeking exemption from the audit.
A bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit said the audit should be completed as early as possible, preferably within three months.
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The bench said that the audit was ordered in the light of the report submitted by the amicus curiae.
"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," the bench, also comprising Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi, said.
The administrative committee of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala had on September 17 told the apex court that it is in great financial stress and the offerings are not sufficient to meet the expenses, while seeking an audit of the temple-related trust run by the Travancore royal family.
All temples in Kerala are closed and while this temple's monthly expenses are Rs 1.25 crore, "we are able to hardly get Rs 60-70 lakh. Therefore, we have sought certain directions," senior advocate R Basant, appearing for the committee, had said.
(This article was first published in onmanorama)