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Fresh land grab allegation against Cardinal Alencherry

AMT, Angamaly-Ekm diocese has alleged a house and six cents in Kakkanad was re-registered in the names of the Cardinal’s relatives.

Published: 14th May 2018 03:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2018 04:11 AM   |  A+A-

Cardinal Mar George Alencherry

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Troubles for Cardinal George Alencherry seems never-ending with another land-row allegation involving him surfacing on Sunday. The Archdiocesan’ Movement for Transparency (AMT), Angamaly-Ernakulam diocese, has alleged that a house and six cents in Kakkanad was re-registered in the names of the Cardinal’s relatives in 2016.

Submitting documents to support their claim on the sale of land, AMT convenor Riju Kanjookkaran said the land was sold for Rs 22.50 lakh using the PAN details of the church, but not one rupee from it was deposited in any of the church’s accounts. The land and property in question is part of the 40-plot housing scheme in Kakkanad which the Syro-Malabar church had developed for the housing of poor families., he said.

He added that such a sale was not even discussed, approved or disclosed in any of the financial bodies of the church. “The financial scrutiny by the auditors after the recent land-row controversy unearthed this irregularity conducted in 2016,” said Riju. In December 2017, it was alleged that the church had suffered huge losses by selling a piece of land below the market value for repaying its debts.

Syro-Malabar Church refutes allegation

Replying to the allegations levelled by the Archdiocesan Movement for Transparency, the church refuted the claims of irregularity in the transaction.In a press release, official spokesperson Father Jimmy Poochakkatt said the house was part of the quarters constructed in ‘Cardinal Nagar’ in Kakkanad for the employees of the Cardinal School and Bharata Mata College.

He added unused houses were put up for sale, with the provision of the procurator registration being done as soon as the party pays up the whole sum. The release states that from the time of Cardinal Mar Joseph Parecattil, various houses were transferred to its owners once the entire payment was received.

Poochakkatt said since the land wasn’t transferred in the name of the owner - Philipose George Alencherry - the Cardinal just did his duty to facilitate the transfer of the land to the original owner’s relatives as per his wishes.He added that even though owners of the land and Cardinal’s family names resemble, they are not related.



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