Pastors booked by Bengaluru cops for cheating in land dispute case

Six senior padres of the Indian Province of Claretian Congregation have been charged with various offences by the Bengaluru police in a land dispute case reports Bengaluru Mirror. As per available information, the padres have been booked for forgery, cheating, criminal conspiracy, intimidation, and unlawful assembly in Varthur.

The padres who have been identified as Fathers T Kuria Kose, Mathew, Xavier Emmanuel Manavath, Sabu George, Mathew Vattamattam, and Antony Bhyju were served non-bailable warrants by the cops. The action was initiated on the basis of a complaint filed by Doddakannahalli resident Santosh Thazhathu who is a real estate developer.

Santosh had approached the Varthur police alleging that he had been cheated by the padres from who he had purchased 4 acres and 2 guntas of land at a price of INR 15.86 lakhs. As per the complainant, the said land in Mullur village was sold to him by Father Kuria Kose of the Claret Bhavan-Novitiate House of Claretian Congregation and Congregation of the Sons of Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretian) in 2016. On 4 January 2016, the agreement for registering the land in Santosh’s name was executed.

The Claretian Congregation padres had supposedly sought approval for the sale from Vatican following which the sale deed was executed on 4 December 2019. However, when Santosh attempted to sell the land he became aware that there was a dispute within the congregation with respect to the sale of the land.

It came to light that two of the padres, Fathers Matthew and George had registered a complaint with the Revenue Department’s Regional Commissioner alleging that documents were tampered with and tweaked to make the sale deed. Accordingly, Regional Commissioner Harsh Gupta had ordered an inquiry in December 2019 on the basis of which four officials were suspended.

The suspended officials have been identified as Tahsildar Bengaluru East Taluk Tejas Kumar, special Tahsildar Bengaluru East Taluk, N Shivakumar, senior sub-registrar Banaswadi M K Shantha Murthy, and Assistant Director of Land Records Kushumlatha.

Bengaluru Mirror quotes one of the padres who wished to remain anonymous as saying:

Our only concern is that our boundaries be clearly demarcated Secondly, our access road should not be blocked and the Congregation will not be held responsible for any further complications.

(Featured Image Source: Bengaluru Mirror)


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