Temple theft: Royal family terms Rai report as 'unbelievable'

Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore royal family today came out against an audit report by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai over alleged theft of gold valuables from the Sree Padmanabha Swamy shrine here, saying it was never consulted in its preparation.

Adithya Varma, a member of the the erstwhile royal family which had earlier managed the centuries-old shrine, said, "Such huge difference in the figures (regarding the gold valuables) in the report is unbelievable."

"It has pained us," he said, adding they had not been consulted before the compilation of the report submitted in the Supreme Court.

"We have not been consulted before the report was prepared. If we were consulted, it would not have happened," Varma told a regional channel here.

The royal family member also said old Malayalam numerals were used in the temple records and the "mistakes" in the figures might have happened while translating it.

His reaction came in the wake of reports that the Supreme Court-appointed committee, headed by Rai, had found 'abnormal' increase in the expenditure at the temple and gold pots valued at Rs 186 crore had gone missing and that it had recommended constitution of a panel to probe the "irregularities".