The Kerala High Court on Thursday expressed its ire on the way cases of employees stealing money from the famed Sabarimala temple are increasing.
A division bench of the court was hearing the report of a theft by an employee attached to the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), the temple’s custodian, and asked the board’s Chief Vigilance Officer to maintain constant vigil of the entire activities in the Bhandaram (where the money offered by the devotees at the temple is kept).
According to the report which the court got, on January 8 at 12.45 p.m., an employee who was engaged in counting currency notes of the Bhandaram committed theft of Rs 3,500 and was apprehended by the TDB Vigilance wing.
Subsequently, a casee was registered against him under Section 381 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and he was sent to judicial custody.
In another incident on December 16, 2021, a TDB employee, engaged to count currency in the Bhandaram, was found stealing money after Rs 42,470 was recovered from his room after a search.
The two-month-long temple season, that began on November 16 with Covid protocols, will end on Saturday and even though the season began on a soft note, things changed and by now over 2 million devotees had pre-booked their visit and the total collections, according to unofficial reports, have crossed over Rs 120 crore.
The Sabarimala temple is the biggest revenue-earner for the TDB, which oversees the functioning of most temples in south and central districts of the state.