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Kerala High Court Calls For Constant Vigilance At Sabarimala After Employees Found Stealing Cash From Bhandaram

Hannah M Varghese
13 Jan 2022 9:45 AM GMT
Kerala High Court Calls For Constant Vigilance At Sabarimala After Employees Found Stealing Cash From Bhandaram
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The Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Travancore Devaswom Board to maintain constant vigil of the entire activity in the Bhandaram at Sabarimala, after an incident of an employee stealing cash from the Bhandaram was brought to the attention of the Court.A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice P.G Ajithkumar was adjudicating upon...

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Travancore Devaswom Board to maintain constant vigil of the entire activity in the Bhandaram at Sabarimala, after an incident of an employee stealing cash from the Bhandaram was brought to the attention of the Court.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice P.G Ajithkumar was adjudicating upon a report filed by the Special Commissioner of Sabarimala regarding the theft of currency notes from the Bhandaram by an employee engaged in Sabarimala duty when it observed so:

"...we deem it appropriate to direct the 4th respondent Bhandaram Special Officer, Sabarimala, and also the 5th respondent Chief Vigilance Officer to have constant vigil of the entire activity in the Bhandaram at Sabarimala Sannidhanam...in order to prevent any theft of money, offerings, etc., by the employees engaged for counting currency notes, coins, offerings, etc. Stringent action shall be taken against commission of any such offence by the employees." 

As per the report, on 8th January at 12:45 pm, an employee named Unnikrishnan who was engaged in counting currency notes of the Bhandaram committed theft of Rs.3500/- and was apprehended by the Vigilance Wing of the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Subsequently, a crime was registered against him under Section 381 (Theft by clerk or servant of property in possession of master) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and he was remanded on judicial custody.

The Court asserted that the action taken against such employees should be brought to the notice of the Special Commissioner, so as to enable him to file proper reports before the Court.

This is not the first time an employee was caught stealing from the Bhandaram. A month ago, a similar incident had occurred at Sabarimala.

On December 16, 2021, an employee of the Travancore Devaswom Board engaged to count currency in the Bhandaram was found stealing money. Rs 42,470 was recovered from his room after a search. When this was brought to the Court's attention, it had passed an identical order in the matter. 

Advocate N. Raghuraj was the Amicus Curiae in the matter. 

Senior Government Pleader S. Rajmohan and Standing Counsel for Travancore Devaswom Board G Biju appeared in the case. 

Case Title: Suo Motu v. Travancore Devaswom Board & Ors.

Click Here To Read/Download The Order

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