The Jagannath Ballabh Mutt trust board in Puri has come under the scanner of State Vigilance following a complaint filed by rights activist Prasanna Kumar Dash based on an audit report.
In a letter to the Vigilance ADG, Dash has demanded a probe into the misappropriation of Rs 16 crore and action against erring trust members and officials.
Dash said that he would also file a complaint with the Lokayukta soon in the matter and demand for recovery of money from people involved in the scam.
“From top to bottom people are involved. Otherwise such a biggest fraud would never have happened,” Dash told The Pioneer.
The audit report has shown misappropriation of Rs 16 crore in expenditures transacted for 60 purposes in eight years between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
The trust board comprising Bhakta Charan Das as president and Sangram Keshari Das, Mahant Sachidananda Das, Narayan Ramanuja Das, Jaganath Bastia, Muktikant Das and the City DSP as members was operating during the period. Presently, the Mutt is under control of the district administration after expiry of trust board.
In audit reports, the auditors have raised questions on some members. Besides, there is eyebrow on roles of the Endowment department.
Notably, the Jaganath Ballabh Mutt situated on the Grand Road is a monastery of the Shree Jaganath Temple which accomplishes many annual rites and rituals of the Trinity.
It has hundreds of acres of land across the State. The expenditures towards rites and rituals of Lord Jagannath are made from earnings sourced from vehicle parking lot, shopping complex, farm lands, mines and forests.