The special audit of the properties of Kerala's famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, which is facing allegations of financial irregularities, is expected to be completed in the next five to six months.
Former CAG Vinod Rai, who has been tasked with a special audit of the temple's properties, also said that the team is getting a lot of co-operation from the temple's trust as well as the administration.
"It will go on for about five or six months more at least," Rai told PTI in response to a query on when the final audit report is expected to be completed.
The Supreme Court, in April this year, had asked Rai to supervise this special audit.
"... one thing that is good is happening is that we are getting a lot of co-operation. Audit is not difficult to the extent that records are available," Rai, who had served as comptroller and auditor general (CAG) from 2008-13, said.
Rai, a retired IAS officer from Kerala cadre, also noted that people have full faith in the temple and its deity.
"Anything that is said connected to the deity, people tend to believe. That is why there is lot of faith about one particular vault (Kallara B) and there is lot of superstition about it.
"We don't have any direction from the Supreme Court on whether it should be opened or not as yet. But to a large extent there is a certain degree of strength in people's superstitions, people's beliefs and that is the belief which has built up the image of that deity, that it is a very powerful deity," Rai said.
In his report, submitted to the Supreme Court earlier this year, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam had highlighted several serious irregularities in the management of the temple and its wealth.
The temple has six vaults, most of which are underground and are filled with priceless articles. During preparation of its inventory by the apex court-appointed panel, five of these vaults were opened, leaving out one chamber, called 'vault (Kallara) B'.