Indian bishop hits back against accusers: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 7, 2011 p 6. October 7, 2011Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Corruption.
Tags: Manickam Dorai
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
The battle between the suspended Bishop in Coimbatore and the Church of South India’s (CSI) standing committee took a new turn last week, after charges of fraud were leveled against the bishop’s accusers.
The Hindu newspaper reported that a court has ordered police to investigate charges of fraud leveled against the moderator of the CSI, Bishop S. Vasanthakumar, the acting bishop in Coimbatore, and the general secretary and treasurer of the CSI general synod along with six other church officials by supporter of Bishop Manickam Dorai.
According to a complaint filed in the Madras High Court by Arul Prabhu, the moderator and his confederates misappropriated 1 million rupees (approximately £13,000) from the accounts of the CSI Engineering College in Ketti.
Last year the Bishop Dorai was suspended by the CSI synod while he stood trial on criminal charges of embezzling funds from the college. The synod appointed Dr. Paul Vasantha Kumar, Bishop in Tiruchy-Thanjavur, as acting bishop for the diocese and assumed management of its financial affairs.
Mr. Prabhu alleges the church leaders withdrew the funds from the operating accounts of the college to underwrite the costs of the World Classical Tamil Conference held in Coimbatore last year. However, an inquiry found the funds were not paid over to the conference.
When he brought this discrepancy to the attention of the CSI moderator, Bishop Vasanthakumar took no action. Last month he brought the matter to the attention of the Madras court, which directed the police to conduct a probe and register a case, if a cognizable offence was made out in the inquiry.
Church leaders did not respond to requests for clarification, but the anti-corruption watchdog the CCC (Christ Centered Coalition) told CEN they were encouraged by the investigation.
“This is a welcome sign that the the long existing pact among thieving bishops in the CSI not to squeal on each other is falling apart. Disgraced Bishop Dorai of Coimbatore, who is facing a battery of criminal cases and blames the Moderator and his fellow office bearers for his plight, has found a way to hit back … by getting one of his followers Mr Arul Prabhu to file the case against the CSI top brass.”