A report submitted to the Supreme Court shows that 769 gold pots, valued approximately at Rs 186 crore, are missing from Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
A report submitted by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai said the disappearance of the gold pots weighing 776 kg from the vast treasures found in the vaults of the Kerala temple needed a “detailed probe”.
In 2015, the Supreme Court had asked Rai to do an audit of the temple and submit its report.
Each gold pot was assigned a special number. Gold utensils with numbers from 1 to 1000 were taken out from the vaults for temple celebrations and used till 2002. After that vessels from 1001 were taken out for use. On April 1, 2011, a vessel taken out bore the number 1988. This means that there were at least 1988 gold pots available in various kallaras, the report said.
As many as 822 gold pots were melted for making jewellery and other ornamental works. Hence the remaining gold pots should have been 1166 but presently gold pots numbering till 397 are only left. So 769 gold pots weighing approximately 776 kg and worth Rs 186 cr has gone missing from the vaults and needs a detailed investigation.
A source said, “Gold worth Rs. 2.50 crore was lost because of change in ratio adopted for purification. Moreover, the residual quantity of gold was not recovered from the contractor which lead to a loss of Rs. 59 lakhs.”
The report further added, “There was a lack of transparency in Kanikka counting. Gold and silver worth Rs. 14.18 lakh had not been entered in the Nadavarav register, which is illegal. Silver bar with the value of Rs. 14 lakh was found to be missing.”
During the period 2002-2005, Rs. 59 lakh worth of gold were lost in the process of purification and melting.
During 2009 to 2014, gold and silver worth Rs. 14.78 lakh received in the hundi have not been recorded in the register.
The report also states that account register during December 2006 and November 2008 were not given for audit to the Audit Authority.