ED attaches ₹59.52-crore assets of Church of South India Trust Association
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth ₹59.52 crore of the Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA) in connection with a money laundering case.
The movable assets are in the form of fixed deposits maintained with the State Bank of India’s Sudhamanagar branch in Bengaluru.
The action has been taken on the basis of an FIR registered at the Ashoknagar police station in Bengaluru against the CSITA, following a complaint lodged by the Defence Ministry.
It was alleged that CSITA dishonestly entered into an arrangement with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), a Karnataka government undertaking, for transfer of the title of a defence land measuring about 7,427 square metres.
Land leased to church
The land in question was earlier leased to the All Saints’ Church. A part of the precinct, where the All Saints Church is located, was transferred to the BMRCL against a compensation of ₹59.29 crore in 2019. The BMRCL acquired the land through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board.
An ED probe revealed that the title of the land belonged to the Defence Ministry and it was only leased out to the All Saints’ Church for conducting religious affairs. No proprietary right of the land had been transferred.
“The CSITA illegally transferred the land belonging to the Defence authorities to the BMRCL. The compensation for the land was required to be transferred to the consolidated fund of India, as the rightful owner of the land was the Defence Ministry,” said an official.
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