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Police investigate CSI moderator for fraud: The Church of England Newspaper, Dec 17, 2010 p 8. December 18, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Corruption.
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Bishop S. Vasanthakumar of Karnataka Central

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Karnataka High Court has directed the Bangalore Police to complete the corruption and fraud investigation of the Moderator of the Church of South India (CSI) and present their findings to the court.

On Dec 9, Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar asked the police to complete their investigations “as soon as possible, but not later than the outer limit of two months” into allegations that the Bishop in Central Karnataka, the Rt. Rev. Suputhrappa Vasanthakumar, his wife Nirmala, daughter Aparna, and his personal secretary Patricia Job stole church funds.

On April 30, Mr. I Sounder Raj, a member of St. Peter’s parish in Kolar Gold Fields filed a complaint in the Bangalore magistrate’s court alleging the bishop and his wife had embezzled diocesan funds.  The thefts had been on-going since April 2002, Mr. Raj said, and involved theft, forgery, fraud, and the sale of admissions to church schools.

Prosecutors told the court that the police had investigated similar accusations lodged against Bishop Vasanthakumar and had filed a ‘B’ report—a police form that states a case could not be made against the accused.

The complaint against the bishop, however, was brought after the B report was filed.  Mr. Raj, alleged the investigation was incomplete and asked the court to supervise the investigation.  The judge took notice of the earlier police findings, but directed them to investigate the complaint.

The bishops of the CSI have been immersed in a series of lawsuits in recent years.  Suits are pending against Bishop Vasanthakumar alleging his election as moderator was fraudulently procured while the Bishop in Madras and the CSI are in court over whether he can be compelled to retire.  Criminal investigations are also pending against the Bishop in Coimbatore and Bishop Vasanthakumar.

While the CSI Synod’s income rose by 50.5 per cent from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009, due to an increase in the diocesan assessments, expenses have risen even faster, the synod’s financial statements seen by The Church of England Newspaper show.

“Legal fees and Professional Expenses” rose 10-fold in one year, from Rs 3.3 lakhs to Rs 34.1 lakhs (£4600 to £48,000) auditors Gopal & Murthi reported.  Programme expenses for activities such as Youth Work, Sunday Schools and outreach, now consume a smaller share of the synod budget than legal expenses critics note, with only 2.4 per cent spent on programme in 2009 compared to 13.8 per cent of the budget spent on legal fees.

Comments

1. TJMcMahon - December 18, 2010

It is not surprising that the legal fees of the CSI were higher last year. Do recall that Episcopal Relief and Development filed suit against them in October of last year. I cannot speak to the validity of the ERD suit, although the George Conger article above makes it clear there are reasons to suspect corruption in CSI. However, one can imagine that those responsible for budgets in CSI did not anticipate that another member of the Communion would file suit. ERD posted the following:
“Updated Statement on CSI

October 23, 2009

In our continuing efforts to ensure funds are properly used to benefit the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Episcopal Relief & Development filed a civil case against the Church of South India (CSI) and its former leadership on Friday, October 23rd in Chennai, India.”

full statement here:
http://www.er-d.org/updatedcsistatement

2. V.C.Ravichandran - January 26, 2011

praise the lord our moderator Vasanth is a real crook and a scoundrel . he is capable of making and twisting , confusing congrecation and others. well good for nothing vasanth was elevated to this post is curse for C S I and he will doom entire CSI and soon he will make CSI a bankrupt . he is real clown and buffon posing himself as a eifficent fellow . This fool is elected as moderator becoz of a another fool Rev. william moses who supported him to this post

Major J Victor - February 3, 2011

1.Mr Mohan says “They did not anticipate that another member of the Communion would file a suit ” What an anticipation !!!.Do you say that you should not correct your brother member at any situation ?
2.ERD has filed a case in Chennai to recover their money with 24 % interest.It is Correct and fine.
But why have they Omitted the names of the then Moderator Bishop Suganthar and the then Dy Moderator – the present Moderator from the list of Culprits ? just because they are Bishops ? This is absolutely unfair.They were the leaders in that misuse and they should be punished DOUBLE in all fairness.

Major J Victor – Chennai.


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