This instance is enough to conclude that all is not well with the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD)’s accounting procedures, their sincerity to handle the devotee’s trust placed with them
There is no limit to man’s greed for Bhagawan’s wealth. For the perfect example, one doesn’t need to go beyond Bhagawan Venkateshwara and the Administrator of His wealth, the TTD. Each of his millions of Bhaktas contributes to his Mandir. Some out of total Bhakti. Some as a percentage of their profits to their partner Bhagawan. Some as a deal for having answered their prayers. Some as Prayaschit. The reasons may be varied. The fact remains that he continues to be the richest Hindu Bhagawan for centuries. The Bhagawan is still repaying His Divine Debt to Kubera. The employees owe each morsel of the food they eat every day to him. They are making the repayment of that Divine Debt even more difficult for him. By stealing from his treasury. His Trustee, which is the TTD, finds ridiculous ways to “punish”/ abet/ reward such dishonest looters surrounding the Bhagawan.
I am bringing to light just one instance of what I consider the daylight robbery. Not just of the man/ team that did it. But of the TTD that has robbed our trust. And continues to be the Trustee of our Bhagawan. The enormity of this scam has shocked me. And will shock each one of you reading this. The case of missing jewellery relates to 2016-18, the period when Chandrababu Naidu was the Chief Minister (CM) of Andhra Pradesh. And his handpicked men occupied important positions in the Administration, including the vigilance, Treasury, Mandir Administration, Finance and Accounts, etc.
We are talking about missing jewels and they are talking about arriving at value based on stones remaining in the jewel. Isn’t the jewel in the shortage list? Gone already?
- Srinivasulu, AEO in the TTD Treasury was transferred as AEO (Assistant Executive Officer) of VQC (Vaikuntam Queue Complex). Seriously this is just another new illegal money-making position. Before he shifts to his new responsibility, he has to handover the charge to P.Prabhakara Reddy, AEO(Treasury). Therefore, Physical verification of jewelry/ stock in the TTD Treasury started on 18-08-2016 and ended on 10-10-2017
- Upon conclusion of the Inventory as per stock particulars, the TTD Certificate states, EXCESS ITEMS were noticed (Exhibit-B). They have also noticed SHORTAGES. Of the excess items, there are pearls, corals, loose stones, primary gold coins, etc. But what is interesting is the presence of 778.050 Kg of Silver. I will come to how important this silver is later in this article.
Obviously, the Excess Items are those that ARE NOT recorded in the stock register. The E.O, TTD is on record on TV that they have the best Vigilance Department. Therefore, no jewelry can either come in or taken out without proper records. The cruel joke doesn’t end here.
The SHORTAGE includes the following: (Exhibit-B)
|1.||Itallics mine and I will explain it later in this article. 2 Nos Gold Rings with Ordinary stones and 2 Nos. Gold Necklace with Ordinary stones stock||04 Nos||000.147.400×2839/-||4,18,469.00|
|2||Gold coins separated from Primary Gold||53 Nos||000.440.700×2839/-||12,52,147.00|
|3||*TTD’s biggest joke on this narrated in their own order. Silver Kireetam*||1 No||005.400.000×43000/-||2,32,200.00|
|4||Silver coated copper coins (SCCR)||028.548.520×500/-||14,274.00|
TTD arrived at the value of the shortage at Rs.19,15,264 as certified by its officials and handpicked appraisers/IT valuers. Closed-door inquiry and seeking an explanation of M.Srinivasulu, under whose tenure the jewels and coins went missing was initiated. Board meetings were held on this issue. Only Bhagawan knows what transpired in the sham inquiry and the meets. Various explanations given by Srinivasulu in closed-door meetings seemed to have been accepted at the face value. Because the EO, Board etc., seemed to have been so convinced of the man’s honesty that on 05-06-2018, the EO passes an order: Proceedings Roc. No. C3/43/INV/2016, which clearly states that TTD should recover Rs.7,36,376 from M.Srinivasulu, AEO (VQC), transferred from Treasury section towards certain shortages. God only knows how the figure Rs.19,15,264 has arrived and how TTD accepted recovery of just Rs. 7,36,376 from Srinivasulu.
TTD Claims that the two rings and two necklaces missing had ordinary stones. People in the know in Tirupati are already stating that these are very rare and precious diamonds, NOT ordinary stones. See Exhibit B, all four items are valued at Rs.4,18,489 when the actual value should be in crores if these were diamonds and NOT ordinary stones.
The TTD certificate states that “The cost of the shortage was valued at present market value as on the date of completion of verification, ie., 10/10/2017, duly considering the weights and nature of other stones remaining in the jewel”. Isn’t it ironic? We are talking about missing jewels and they are talking about arriving at value based on stones remaining in the jewel. Isn’t the jewel in the shortage list? Gone already?
Wait, the story is NOT over.
Here comes the twist in the TTD tale. Now, M.Srinivasulu submits a representation on 25/07/2018. His request is very simple 4- point formula:
- To give details of the shortage and value
- Permission to remit the differential amount arrived after considering the certification by the representative from Archaeology Department, on Instalment basis, due to his negligence (Shortage No:2 – One gold coin weighing 000.025.100 x2839/-= 71259/- )
If you think in Shortage is ONLY of simple gold coins, you are mistaken. The order of TTD clearly states: The Assistant E.O (Treasury) is permitted:
To effect the recovery of Rs. 7,36,376 from M.Srinivasulu, AEO (VQC) towards the following shortage of items as valued against each: (This is where the original 19 lakhs is pruned down to 7.36 L after closed-door meetings)
|1||2 Nos. Gold Rings with “Ordinary stones” and 2 Nos of Gold Necklace with “Ordinary Stones”||04 Nos||000.147.400×2839/-||4,18,469.00|
|2||Gold Coins separated from primary gold||1 Nos||000.025.100×2839/-||71,259.00|
|3||Silver Kireetam||1 No||005.400.000×43000/-||2,32,200.00|
|4||Silver coated copper coins||028.548.520×500||14,274.00|
Wait, I am astonished how they have arrived at valuation of 52 coins of great antique value, that went missing; They have arrived at the value of Rs.71,259/- for these 52 antique coins and once this amount is recovered, the Order instructs the officials of Treasury to make necessary deletion entries against the items specified hereunder. Now look at the items, their valuation and what TTD Orders to delete entries from the books:
|S.No||Item No.||Description of the Item||Quantity||Weight|
(My note: ATQ stands for Antique)
|ATQ 152||Gold coins having the portrait of King George IV, Edward-VII and Victoria OGI 1902 to 1914 on the obverse a soldier on a horse killing the dragon with a sword||49||413.700|
|2||ATQ 153||Gold Coin Bahmani Dynasty coins both obverse and reverse having Persian script||2||19.050|
(they note it is a rare coin, as though other coins aren’t)
|Gold coin having George IV obverse and Edward VII reverse, it is a rare coin||1||7.950|
All these Antique coins were valued at Rs. 71,259/- (Rupees Seventy-one thousand two hundred fifty-nine ONLY).
OMG. If this doesn’t make you go bonkers, wait for one more crazy twist in the tale:
Remember, the 5.400 Kg Silver Kireetam that is also missing? The Joke is on us now. M.Srinivasulu in his representation as point 3 writes to TTD:
- Exemption from effecting the recovery for the shortage of Silver Kireetam (5.400 Kgs) since 11.778 Kgs of Silver was given EXCESS, duly absolving unforced error (Huh! Where did Tennis come in?) happened by him due to his negligence (Shortage No.3)
- Relaxation on Shortage noted (1,4 &5) until further verification completed in Treasury.
This 11.778 Kg Silver was found as Excess. Meaning it was not recorded in stock. Look at his audacity and the acceptance. He wants the SHORTAGE to be adjusted against the EXCESS SILVER GIVEN IN.
Is TTD Treasury his personal Safe Deposit locker? Is he the owner of the excess silver found?
The few questions that arise naturally are:
- Why was this treated as simple shortage/recovery process and not as theft and NOT reported to the police and the person (s) handed over for interrogation?
- Why are there many jewels and precious stones in the Treasury that are still unaccounted/taken into the stock registry?
- How did the TTD come to the conclusion that the rings and necklaces missing had only ordinary stones? The give away is when they say the value arrived from other stones from the (missing jewelry)
- How did anyone come to the conclusion that 52 such antique coins have value as low as approx.. 72,000/-
- What happened to the much-publicized EO’s statement that they have the best vigilance system and that nothing can go in or out without being noticed/recorded?
- TTD is only the Trustee of Bhagawan Balaji. Who gave TTD the authority to write off offerings made to Him?
- Why is it that no annual audit of the stock is taken and the report filed? One of the orders of TTD published here clearly “requests” the Deputy Executive Officer (Treasury and Inventory) to carry out annual physical verification of stock in Treasury.
(It would be very pertinent to note that as long as the Jewellery were in the control of the 4 Kainkarya Archaka Mirasidars families, they would religiously do the annual physical verification of jewelry before handing over the Kainkaryam to the next family. This was done openly and in the presence of the then senior TTD Officials).
- Why is the EO giving statements that all the jewellery has been recovered? Is there no recovery being made from the said negligent accused?
- What is this sham recovery process the TTD is following when the law of the land has a clear due process of law to effect recovery as also to punish the guilty?
- How many of the employees of the TTD, including those in the TTD Treasury, Vigilance, Administration and the Board are involved in this ongoing racket?
I am convinced that this one instance is enough to conclude that all is not well with the TTD’s accounting procedures, their sincerity to handle the devotee’s trust placed with them. It looks more like the TTD views itself as the owner of the Temple and its related properties, rather than the Trustee of the Bhagawan, who is the actual owner.
Dr Subramanian Swamy has already filed a case in Andhra High Court for Government to vacate TTD. I would urge Dr Swamy that as an interim relief, in light of this scam, he should ask the court to immediately order a CBI inquiry into the jewellery scam, as also appoint a committee of Jewellery appraisers, Gemologists etc to actually do a physical audit of the existing jewellery of the Bhagawan and present the results to be displayed on the TTD website.
At least, the devotees would know what could be the benchmark for the future.
Below are the documents attached for the reader’s reference:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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