Former CAG Rai to audit Padmanabha temple assets
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai will supervise special audit of property of Kerala’s famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, which is facing charges of financial irregularites, and constituted a new administrative committee headed by District Judge, Thiruvananthapuram.
The court clarified that until further order ‘no property of temple will be alienated, sold or dealt with in any manner’ and in case the District Judge comes from the community other than the Hindu, the next senior most judge of the Hindu faith in the district will be the administrative committee’s Chairman.
A bench comprising Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik said other members of the administrative committee would be the ‘Tantri’ of the temple, presently Satish Namboodri and district judge would co-opt two other members, one of which will be nominated by the state government. While favouring facelift of the temple and revamping of the management, the bench made it clear that under supervision of present trustees the state of affairs of the temple were not in good shape.
‘The present trustees have failed badly and they have to be changed. If we have to give opportunity to the same persons and returned them the affairs of the temple then god save this temple,’ the bench observed and added that it has to ‘look at larger public interest and the interest of the temple’.
While passing the interim order, the bench appointed bureaucrat Satish Kumar, who has experience in management of Guruvayur temple in Thrissur, as Executive Officer of Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple to oversee day-to-day functions.