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Court overturns church college appointment: The Church of England Newspaper, October 28, 2012 p 7. October 30, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Corruption.
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The American College, Madurai India

An Indian court has overturned the appointment of the head of the Church of South India’s American College, saying the late bishop in Madurai-Ramnad had colluded with his son-in-law to engineer the younger man’s appointment as principal.

Elected bishop in Madurai-Ramnad in 2003, Bishop Asir was also elected deputy moderator of the CSI in 2008.  In 2010 he stood for election as Moderator, but lost by 8 votes.

At the time of his death in February 2012, Bishop Christopher Asir had been fighting tax fraud charges brought by the Indian government. The District Revenue Collector of Madurai had charged the bishop with being part of a criminal ring that had defrauded the diocese of £925,000 by selling college land and pocketing the proceeds.

In response to a lawsuit brought by a member of the staff, on 15 Oct 2012 Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma quashed the appointment of M. Davamani Christober as principal of the church-owned college.  The court accepted the petitioner’s claim the bishop and his son-in-law had created a search committee composed of their cronies and had participated in subsequent board meetings “without revealing the fact that Mr. Christober had applied to the post of Principal as early as February 21, 2011. It is clear proof of collusion between the two.”

However, the court did not rule on the claim the appointment had been engineered to cover up the bishop’s alleged thefts.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.