Indian bishop suspended over corruption allegations: The Church of England Newspaper, April 8, 2010 April 8, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Corruption.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Executive Committee of the Church of South India (CSI) has sent the Bishop of Coimbatore on a two month leave of absence, pending an investigation by church auditors of the diocese’s accounts.
On April 7, The Hindu reported that Bishop Manickam Dorai would surrender his episcopal authority to the Rt. Rev. Paul Vasantha Kumar, Bishop of Tiruchi and Thanjavur while the investigation is underway. Last month Bishop Dorai, two of his brothers and the former diocesan secretary along with 27 others were accused of stealing over £335,000 from diocesan coffers.
On March 8 detectives arrested the former secretary of the Diocese of Coimbatore, D.S. Amirtham, charging him with diverting pensions funds. In January Mr. Amirtham came under police scrutiny after threatening to kill the Rt. Rev. William Moses, the former Moderator of the CSI and Bishop of Coimbatore after the bishop supported a complaint filed by members of the diocese charging the bishop and his cronies with looting the diocese of 30 million rupees.
Mr. Amirtham has been granted bail and has been released on parole, while Bishop Dorai last year denied all charges. The bishop has been helping the Coimbatore Criminal Branch-CID with their investigations.
Bishop Vasantha Kumar has called special meetings of the diocese’s finance committee and executive committee this month to take stock of its fiscal and legal situation. He told The Express newspaper his oversight of Coimbatore was a “stopgap” measure and asked that members of the church withhold judgment until the investigative process had run its course.