KOCHI: The Kerala government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court giving a clean chit to Cardinal Mar George Alencherry in a case registered by Ernakulam Central police against him in connection with the controversial land deals that allegedly resulted in a financial loss for the archdiocese.
“It was found in the investigation that the deals regarding the setting up of the medical college at Mattoor and the sale of 301.76 cents of land belonging to the archdiocese were done after proper consultation as prescribed by the canon laws governing the Roman Catholic Church and statutes of Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese by which the administration of the diocese is carried out,” stated the affidavit filed by Xavier K K, undersecretary, Government of Kerala.
The probe by the crime branch found that no misappropriation of money was done in the deeds. “The allegation regarding misappropriation was found to be unfounded,” stated the affidavit.The Central police registered cases against Mar Alencherry and 23 others under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 379 (theft), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. The complainant — Pappachan, a resident of Angamaly — alleged that Mar Alencherry and others violated the bylaws of the archdiocese and the canon laws in pursuing the controversial land deals.
According to him, the accused one to 24 had cheated and had unjust enrichment at the expense of the Syro-Malabar Church and the archdiocese, of which the complainant is a member. An amount of `4 crore was given as advance for buying 23.22 acres of land at Mattoor for starting the medical college under the archdiocese and `54,56,90,000 was due to the land owner. The accused persons conspired together and took `58.37 crore as a loan from South Indian Bank, Ernakulam.
The state in its affidavit stated that deliberations, as prescribed by the statutes of the diocese and canon law, were done and the minutes were recorded regarding all decisions taken by the diocese regarding the loan availed for the proposed medical college at Mattoor and the sale of land for repaying the loan availed. The sale of land to 36 different buyers was carried out from July 19, 2016 to August 23, 2017. All buyers transferred the sale amounts through bank transfers to the account of the archdiocese.