KOCHI: The Ernakulam Central Police on Wednesday registered a case against Cardinal George Alencherry and 24 others in connection with the controversial land deals involving the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro Malabar Church, as directed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Ernakulam. The other accused, against whom cases have been registered, include Finance Officer Fr Joshy Puthuva and real estate dealer Saju Varghese.
The case has been registered under IPC sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 379 (theft), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).
“Currently, we have registered a case as per the direction of the court. Initially, cases have been registered under four sections, including breach of trust, theft, criminal conspiracy and cheating based on the FIR from the private complaint filed in the court. The further investigation will be carried by the Additional Commissioner of Police,” said CI Ernakulam Central, V S Navas.
The cases have been registered based on the petition filed by Pappachan, a native of Chowwara, an active member of the Archdiocesan Movement for Transparency (AMT), in the court. The complaint alleged the accused violated the bylaws of the archdiocese and the canon laws while indulging in the controversial land deals. “The accused had conducted a conspiracy with the intention of gaining illegal profit while engaging in the land deals,” the complaint had stated.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate Court had directed the police on Thursday that cases be registered against the accused. Following the failure of the police to register the case against the Cardinal based on the complaint filed by Pappachan, he filed a petition in the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court.
The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Kakkanad on Wednesday had registered a case against Cardinal George Alencherry for criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy and fraudulent execution of the deed of transfer, on the basis of the blatant violations of the law and rampant discrepancies observed in land deals made by the Church.
As per the court order, the cardinal and two other respondents are to appear before the court on May 22 for further proceedings of the case. According to sources, there are at least five other cases pending in different courts in connection with the land deals.