Plea in Madurai High Court to appoint Special Officer to administer Church of South India Diocesan Trust

A report in Tamil daily Dinamalar says that based on a plea filed in the Madurai High Court (HC) by a lay member asking the Government to appoint a Special Officer to administer the Church of South India Madurai-Ramnad Diocesan Trust, Madurai HC has issued orders to send notice to the Tamil Nadu State Government.

The plea filed by Srivilliputhur Devasagayam reads:

Madurai-Ramand Church of South India Diocese Trust (CSI) is located in East Street. It is a legally registered Trust. Madurai, Dindugal, Theni, Ramanathpuram, Sivagangai and Viruthunagar districts are under its jurisdiction and it owns properties worth crores. It runs several schools, colleges, orphanages, hospitals and churches. The accounts of the Trust have neither been audited nor have taxes been paid. Its properties are also under encroachment. Some assets are being misused as well. Elections haven’t been conducted and voter lists as per rules have not been prepared. Annual General Meetings haven’t been conducted post 1994. The Trust has an account for receiving foreign funds.

‘Congregation’ members have been kept out of the management of the Trust and its actions are in conflict with rules laid down. There is no transparency in its functioning. I have sent letters to the Registrar and Secretary of Tamil Nadu Government’s Charity Commission to take action against the Trust.

The Trust is not being run properly and therefore, orders must be passed to appoint a Special Officer to administer its affairs. Devasagayam has made this appeal in the plea filed by him.

Justice Pushpa Satyanarayana has issued notices to Registrar, secretary of the registration department and Registrar (Trusts) of Madurai district and posted the case for hearing on 20th January, 2020.

Earlier, in January this year, a massive land scam committed by Church of South India Trust Association (CSIT) was unearthed by the Andhra Pradesh CID and Serious Fraud Investigation Office’s Hyderabad unit. The investigation revealed that accused Archbishop Govada Dyvasirvadam and his associates had sold away land and swindled several crore rupees.

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