Continue your help in temple case, SC tells Subramanium

Even as the Trustee of the Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram faulted the report of amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium, the Supreme Court on Wednesday requested Mr. Subramanium to continue to assist the court.

A Bench of justices T.S. Thakur and Anil R. Dave perused the office report stating that Mr. Subramanium wanted the court to relieve him from the case.

Counsel Suresh, appearing for one of the parties, said Mr. Subramanium would be persuaded to continue as amicus curiae and that no order be passed to relieve him.

The Bench, in its order, said having regard to the facts of the case, Mr. Subramanium should continue to assist the court in this case.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Rama Varma, member of the Travancore Royal family and trustee of the temple, faulted the amicus curiae’s report and said his allegations against the family had no basis. The amicus curiae had said “Large quantities of gold and silver jewellery made by devotees as offerings [ Kanikkai] had not been accounted for by the temple administration.”

Mr. Subramanium said numerous trusts had been formed and multiplicity of accounts was opened in different banks, which prima facie disclosed breach of trust. He said he found large amounts of gold and silver and it was a shock to him. He also found a gold plating machine.

Mr. Venugopal said the report had created prejudice in the court which on April 24 had ordered an audit of temple property by the former Comptroller and Auditor-General, Vinod Rai.

The court had appointed an administrative committee and an expert committee and asked the Executive officer appointed by the Trustee and the Administrative Officer to proceed on leave for four months. He said he would file his objections to the report.

Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Trustee’s elder sister, said since there were serious allegations against the royal family, she wanted to implead herself in the case. The court asked Mr. Salve to file a proper application.

In a brief order, the Bench asked the Registry to supply copies of the reports submitted by Mr. Rai and the two committees to counsel for parties and asked them to respond within six weeks. The Executive Officer and the Administrative Officer who were on leave would continue to remain on leave for another four months, the Bench said and posted the matter to November 11.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 11:20:33 AM |

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