Church of South India (CSI) does a 'Khosla ka Ghosla'! Allegedly sells Defence land it did not own to Bengaluru Metro for 60 crores
In what can be termed as a filmy type con deal, the Church of South India (CSI) has allegedly sold off land which it did not own to the Bengaluru Metro. Now the Ministry of Defence is filing a cheating case against CSI for illegally selling its land to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).
Lt Col Gangadharan, Quartermaster at CMP Centre and School, has filed the complaint agsint CSI as per Times of India news report. According to the complaint, the Bangalore Military Station records of 1865 indicate that a total of 7,426 Sq Meters of land was given to CSI on lease. But it was discovered that on April 4, the church authorities, without informing the local military authority and despite having no rights to the land, parted with it and collected Rs 60 crore as compensation from Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) and BMRCL.
The Ashoknagar police too have registered a cheating case agains the church authorities. The Church authorities have said that they are not aware of the case and still continue to claim that they are the owners of the land only because the BMRCL and the KIADB did not contest their claim to the land when giving them the compensation.
The BMRCL has acquired land across Bengaluru for its next stage of the city's Metro project and the land is question is part of the new line. The land which the Church claims as its own is adjacent to the Military compund that houses a Military school and its training facilities.
Not the first time!
The CSI has not been caught in the act the first time. Church which are under CSI have been found involving in illegal land deals and finincial irregularities across the souther states. Organiser had reported that how a church in Mangaluru was involved in illegal land deals and threatens those who question it.
In 2016, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office had begun probing into the financial irregularities at the Church of South India after individual audits found discrepancies in the books of the Church of South India Trust Association in Chennai. The Registrar of Companies (RoC), through an inspection audit in 2015 and a series of income-tax audits since 2010, found the institution was not providing a clear picture of its accounts and not maintaining a list of properties which had mandated a SIFO investigation.
CSI is a part of the Anglican Communion and a successor in the subcontinent to the Church of England along with the Church of North India and the Church of Pakistan. CSI is managed by a group of bishops called the Synod, who oversee affairs of 23 dioceses. Including the Jaffna diocese in Sri Lanka, CSI has 24 dioceses and claims membership of over 4 million.