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Moderator’s suspension quashed: The Church of England Newspaper, July 29, 2011 p 6. July 28, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Corruption.

Bishop S. Vasanthakumar

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

An Indian appeals court has thrown out a Madras civil court order suspending the moderator of the Church of South India (CSI).

On 15 July the court voided a 28 June order that suspended Bishop S Vasanthakumar from exercising the office of moderator, and further ordered a return to the status quo of the administration of the CSI pending a final adjudication of the dispute.

Last month Judge Thiru Chandrasekaran suspended the powers of all “office-bearers” of the church elected at the 17 January, 2010 general synod, including the moderator, deputy moderator, treasurer and general secretary in response to a lawsuit filed by a lay member of the synod from the Diocese of Madras who argued the elections were fraudulent.

The court found that a prima facie case could be made that the elections were voidable. On 25 February, 2010 the court issued an order suspending the elections that was subsequently overturned. On 28 June the court issued a second order suspending the elections, which was also overturned.

The church anti-corruption campaign group, the CCC noted the order suspending the moderator had “huge negative implications for the CSI and [put] into jeopardy several major policy and administrative decisions including the recent appointment of some bishops.”

The matter has now been set down for adjudication.

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