The Supreme Court has today reserved its judgment in a plea filed by legal representatives of Sri Marthanda Varma, Maharaja of Travancore seeking direction to an exemption from the 25-year audit directed by the apex Court last year.
A bench of Justice UU Lalit, Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Bela Trivedi told Senior Advocate R Basant appearing for the Committee earlier constituted by the Apex court, "We are allowing application and excluding the Trust from the audit."
Basant submitted that both need to be audited as the trust has been created to administer the operations of the temple.
"Rs. 2.85 crores of cash and Crores of property is involved, let the accounts be audited," Basant submitted.
The family was seeking exemption for the Shree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust created by the Travancore Royal family.
Earlier, the Supreme Court on the recommendation of the Amicus Curie had directed an audit on the Temple and the Trust for 25 years of accounts, to be conducted by the former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai.
Senior Advocate Arvind Datar appearing for the Royal family submitted that all their accounts were clear, whereas, this trust was not even a party in the main petition, therefore the same need not be audited.
Meanwhile Basant seeking some directions submitted, "Rs 1.25 crore is the monthly expense we are able to hardly get 60-70 lakh rupees, therefore, we have also sought certain directions."
Datar informed the Court that the Royal family are an independent entity separate from the Shree Padmanabham Swamy Temple.
Case Title: Sre Marthanda Varma (D) Th. Lr. and Ors. Vs. The State of Kerala, Chief Secretary and Ors.
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