Supreme Court rejects Shree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust’s plea to exempt it from audit of 25 yrs

New Delhi: The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Trust seeking exemption from the audit of 25 years, got a big blow from the Supreme Court on Wednesday (September 22) as the latter declined to entertain the trust’s application.

A top court bench headed by Justice UU Lalit said that the special audit was intended not confined to the temple, but included the trust as well, adding that the audit should be completed preferably in three months.

The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Trust, created by the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family, sought an exemption from the audit of 25 years as ordered by the apex court last year.

Earlier on September 17, the Administrative Committee of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala had informed the top court that the temple is facing financial difficulty – expenses not met, as offerings are insufficient.

Senior advocate R Basant, representing the committee, had submitted that all temples in Kerala are closed and citing the financial difficulty, said Rs 1.25 crore is the monthly expense, but the temple hardly gets Rs 60-70 lakh. 

He further added that there is a trust, which was constituted as per the top court`s order and it must contribute to the temple and sought an audit of the trust.

Senior advocate Arvind Datar, representing the trust, submitted that it is a public trust, which was made by the royal family and it has no role in the administration, also it is not there in the petition, instead, it was just mentioned by the amicus curiae in the case, said an IANS report.

He further argued that the trust was constituted only to oversee the pujas and rituals of the temple involving the family. “It came into the picture only before the Supreme Court after the amicus curiae demanded that the accounts of the trust also should be audited,” said Datar, adding it shouldn`t be audited as it is separate from the temple.

Senior advocate R Basant said that all temples in Kerala are closed and while this temple’s monthly expenses are Rs 1.25 crore, adding “we are able to hardly get 60-70 lakh rupees. Therefore, we have sought certain directions.”

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