A report on the historic Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Thiruvananthapuram submitted before the Supreme Court has claimed that eight diamonds, which were a part of the temple treasure, have been reported as missing.
Ten months ago gold worth Rs 189 crore was also reported missing from the temple.
The recent report filed in the apex court by senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who is assisting as an amicus curiae in the matter, said an FIR was lodged on August 6, 2016 and the present valuation of the precious stones was not reflected from the registers, which have maintained the values of the ornaments prevailing at least 70-80 years ago.
It said that as per reports, the missing stones and ornaments were valued at Rs 21.7 lakh.
“The amicus curiae notes with some regret that eight diamonds which are a part of the Namam (tilakam) of the Lord have been reported as missing. The amicus curiae requested the original registers be produced before him. Upon inspection of the records, the amicus curiae was distressed to note that the expression damaged (used euphemistically), is truly intended to convey missing,” the report said.
The report said when the records were produced before the amicus, it was noted that the fact of missing diamonds was recorded on August 20, 2015, in the Nambis report of March 11, 2016, and in the FIR on August 6 last year.
He, however, regretted that the administrative committee used “vague expressions” and referred to media reports, suggesting that the diamonds may have been damaged and not lost, while the temple records clearly showed that these were eight diamonds from the Namam of the Lord and were missing.
“In fact, if it was not for a direct query from the amicus curiae when he had Darshan, the factum of these eight missing diamonds would not have surfaced,” the report said.
The controversy over the administration and management of the temple has been pending in the apex court for last few years in the wake of charges of financial irregularities.
The sprawling temple, an architectural splendour in granite, was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore Royal House which had ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before integration of the princely state with the Indian Union in 1947.
Even after India’s independence, the temple continued to be governed by a trust controlled by the erstwhile royal family for whom Lord Padmanabha (Vishnu) is their family deity.
The executive officer had informed the amicus that the matter has been referred to the crime branch of police and was under investigation and the district judge has also been requested to look into the matter.