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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Kerala temple wealth: Royals face more charges

Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times  Thiruvananthapuram, April 28, 2014
First Published: 10:01 IST(28/4/2014) | Last Updated: 10:04 IST(28/4/2014)

The former head of Supreme Court-appointed panel examining wealth upkeep of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, CV Ananda Bose, has raised serious charges against the Travancore royal family saying precious ornaments were smuggled out of the temple using look-alikes.

Talking to HT, Bose said he found many discrepancies in wealth upkeep and suspected that some ornaments would have been smuggled abroad.

After amicus curiae Gopal Subramanyam’s report, the apex court had constituted a new panel to run the temple affairs and directed former CAG Vinod Rai to account the wealth stored in six subterranean temple cells. The royal family, which earlier headed the temple trust, has been kept out of the committee.

“When I asked the royal family head Uthradam Thirunal Marthanada Verma about the missing ornaments he didn’t show any interest. Soon the palace moved the court to remove me from the panel,” he said.

Bose said ancient records clearly stated that during Tipu Sultan’s invasion of Kerala, many kings had deposited their valuables in the temple to avoid detection.

He said the custodian of the temple, the royal family head, had kept the keys of the vaults and there were enough evidences to show that most of them were opened. The temple’s 100-yearold record of the precious inventory is also missing.

The temple shot to fame three and a half years ago when the SC ordered inventorying of its wealth situated in its vaults.


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