All Kerala temples are closed, Senior advocate R Basant, showing for the Committee, instructed a bench headed by Justice U U Lalit
The Administrative Committee of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram knowledgeable the Supreme Courtroom on Friday that the temple was passing by way of “very tough occasions” financially and accounts spanning 25 years of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Belief (SPSTT) ought to be audited together with that of the temple accounts for a similar interval.
The committee, led by the Thiruvananthapuram District Decide, knowledgeable a Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit that it was essential to understand how a lot of the temple’s property was with the belief.
“My properties are additionally with the belief… In April 2014, the Supreme Courtroom’s amicus curiae really helpful that 25 years of accounts of each the temple and the belief ought to be audited… The belief used to look after the each day bills of the temple,” senior advocate R. Basant, representing the committee, submitted.
The committee mentioned that the Supreme Courtroom, in its July 2020 judgment upholding the Travancore royals’ proper of shebaitship over the temple, had ordered an audit “as steered by the amicus curiae”.
Mr. Basant argued that the court docket was referring to an April 15, 2014 report filed by senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who was then amicus curiae.
In his report, the amicus had really helpful a “particular audit” by former Comptroller and Auditor Basic Vinod Rai of the 25 years of accounts of each the temple and the SPSTT.
Mr. Basant mentioned the temple and the belief couldn’t be considered individually and wanted to be audited collectively.
The court docket was listening to an software filed by the SPSTT for a declaration that it was an “unbiased entity distinct from Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple”.
The SPSTT, represented by senior advocate Arvind Datar and advocate Shyam Mohan, mentioned it didn’t come beneath the executive management of both the Administrative Committee or the Advisory Committee shaped beneath the Travancore Cochin Hindu Spiritual Endowments Act of 1950.
“Will the audit of the accounts for the previous 25 years prolong to each the temple and the belief? We want a clarification… The belief has already been audited for the interval between 2008 and 2014… Does it should be audited for 25 years now,” Mr. Datar requested.
Mr. Basant contended, “The temple is beneath nice monetary constraints. Its month-to-month bills come to ₹ 1.25 crore… That’s the reason they [SPSTT] are asking to be excluded. The belief has ₹ 2.89 crore of money and ₹ 1.95 crore of property as per a report made by former Comptroller and Auditor Basic Vinod Rai… Want to enter how a lot they’ve now…”.
Mr. Datar countered that the belief was a public one. It was shaped by the erstwhile Travancore ruler in 1965 for “the perpetual continuation of the devotional choices to the temple, different specified non secular ceremony and sure features integral to the royal household traditions…” He mentioned, “When the case got here up earlier than the Supreme Courtroom, the preliminary investigation was solely on the temple and never the belief. This was the place till the amicus curiae introduced it up in 2014.”
Mr. Datar burdened it didn’t need the court docket to present any supervisory powers to the executive committee over it. “If My Lords desires the 25-year audit , now we have completely no downside. However we’re an unbiased entity. Now we have filed our earnings tax returns. We do not need the committee to have any supervisory powers over us,” he mentioned.
The court docket reserved the case for orders.
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