CSI Church -More Scandals

KODAIKANAL: Just when the Church of South India (CSI) is taking stock of the charges filed against its former general secretary Dr Pauline Sathiamurthy, who had siphoned off Rs 7.5 crore funds while handling overseas aid that came for tsunami relief, there are suspicions that she may have also been involved in selling a CSI property without the knowledge of the synod. It has come to the fore that a mission property located in Kodaikanal has been undervalued and sold to a private party and the tenants are being threatened to vacate the houses.

The Roseneath Resorts and Farms was formed under Indian Partnership Act in 1932 and is located at St Mary’s Road, Kodaikanal. It is said that the then British Collector Sir Vere Levinge built the resort in 1845. After Independence this property had come under the Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA). (CSITA was created in the year of 1947 to manage the properties of the churches, which have joined to become The Church of South India).

Meanwhile, Pauline Sathiamurthy of Chennai, who was serving as the general secretary of CSITA sold this property to a private party. It is said that the market value fixed by the government was Rs 6,40,72,400 in 2007, but it was sold for Rs 1.70 crore. Moreover, the private party had remitted only Rs 46,69,592 as stamp duty fixed under subrule (1) of rule 7 of the Tamil Nadu stamps (prevention of under valuation instruments) rules 1968.

This stamp duty has been remitted in chalan No.183 on July 3, 2009. Adam Khan , a British national, who was living in one of the bungalows for 30 years, said the purchaser (said to be the kin of a top ranking official) has urged him to vacate the house at once. Therefore, he has lodged a complaint with the police.

When this reporter tried to verify the details with the Synod, the Moderator said that as he had just assumed charge he had no idea regarding this incident. According to the local brokers, today’s value of the resort would be Rs 15 crore.

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