Probe into Syro-Malabar Church land deal begins in Kerala

The police team probing the controversial land deal involving the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church on Tuesday submitted an FIR.

Published: 14th March 2018 02:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2018 02:58 AM   |  A+A-

Cardinal George Alencherry of the Syro-Malabar Church (File | Melton Antony)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The police team probing the controversial land deal involving the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church on Tuesday submitted an FIR before the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. The FIR filed by the Ernakulam Central Police on Monday named Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Church; Fr Joshy Puthuva, Pro-Vicar, St John’s Church, Cusat-Kochi parish; Fr Sebastian Vadakkumpadam, Pro-Vicar General, Archbishop’s House, Ernakulam, and Saju Varghese, a Kochi-based real estate agent, as accused in the case.

Meanwhile, the police also recorded the statement of the complainant after summoning him to the station on Tuesday. As per the complaint, the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy and sold five properties (301.76 cents) of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, thereby causing a huge financial loss to the Church.

The properties were sold for Rs13,51,44,260, against the decision of the archdiocese to sell them at a price of Rs 27,15,84,000. Ernakulam Central CI Ananthalal is heading the investigation.The police registered the case following a High Court directive on March 6. The complaint was lodged by Shine Varghese, of Cherthala.

Hearing on Cardinal’s plea posted to Friday
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday posted to Friday the hearing on the appeal filed by Syro-Malabar Church Major Archbishop Cardinal Mar George Alencherry and three others challenging the order to register a case against them in the alleged illegal land deal of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese. When the petition came up for hearing, the petitioners’ counsel sought an adjournment. According to the petitioners, the property of the archdiocese was sold by following the procedure prescribed under the Canon Law and in conformity with the laws of the land.


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