Tirupati: A silver crown, two gold rings and two gold necklaces, valued at Rs 7.36 lakh, reportedly went missing from the highly secure treasury of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in 2017. The matter came to light on Tuesday when officials found a document during an inventory check.
The TTD decided last year to recover the value of the missing items from the salary of the officer in charge during that period. Questions are now being asked why criminal proceedings were not initiated.
The practice at the TTD is to physically check the items in the treasury every year as also when the custodian is transferred. The treasury is located in the TTD’s administrative buildings in Tirupati.
The document recovered on Tuesday spoke of physical verification certified by the assistant executive officer (treasury), TTD, in Tirupati for the period from August 18, 2016, to August 10, 2017. The verification was carried out in the presence of the assistant executive officer (inventory) and his staff under the supervision of deputy executive officer (treasury and inventory) and vigilance and security wing officers.
During physical verification it was found that two gold rings with ordinary stones and two gold necklaces with ordinary stones weighing around 147 grams valued at `4,18,469, as per the gold rate on September 10, 2017 were missing. A silver crown weighing 5.40 kg, worth Rs 2,32,200 was also missing. Subseq-uently, the temple administration initiated proceedings on May 5, 2018, to recover Rs 7,36,376 from M. Srinivasulu, who was assistant executive officer (treasury) during the period the jewellery was listed as missing.
The report stated that 11.78 kg of silver ornaments including silver leg chains weighing 4 kg and other small ornaments of 7.78 kg were found to be excess in the stock of treasury. Apart from this, 2.680 kg of pearls, 369 grams of corals and 938 grams of other valuables were found to be excess in the stock and the same was recorded in the register.
In August last year, the TTD directed recovery of the cost of the missing jewellery from the salary of Mr Srinivasulu at the rate of Rs 25,000 per month, up to the recovery of full value of the lost property. So far, the temple administration has recovered `12,25,000 from Mr Srinivasulu.
The officer made a representation to the TTD in 2018 to keep the orders in reserve till all the stock was verified. He submitted another representation on March 27, 2019, informing the administration that a reverification of stock at the TTD treasury may prove his innocence.
He submitted that a number of officials who had served in the treasury were not subjected to recovery proceedings and he should not be singled out. The TTD has stuck firmly to its decision to recover the cost of the jewellery.
After the issue came to light on Tuesday, questions have been raised over the TTD's decision to recover the money from the official rather than initiating criminal proceedings against him....