The Bishop in Lucknow, the Rt. Rev. Morris Edgar Dan, has been deposed by the synod of the Church of North India for conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.
The General Secretary of the CNI, Alwan Masih, told Anglican Ink “ Bishop Morris E Dan, Bishop of Lucknow Diocese CNI has been , after a thorough inquiry , duly terminated by the executive committee of the CNI synod as of 25 November 2013.”
Police executed a warrant for arrest issued by the Allahabad High Court on 15 Dec 2013 against Bishop Dan in connection with criminal cases lodged against him in Jhansi and Allahabad for fraud and forgery.
Stephen Singh a trustee of the United Church of Northern India Trust Association had lodged a criminal complaint, a FIR, against the bishop on 29 April 2013. The complaint alleged the bishop had engaged in a criminal breach of trust, conspiracy and fraud by selling lands belonging to the trust.
A second complaint filed by Subodh Kumar Srivastava of Agra alleged the bishop had forged documents in order to allow him to sell the property of Luckow Diocese Trust Association.
Shabnam Dan, the daughter of Bishop Dan, told Anglican her father had been “framed” and that she could prove he was “innocent”.
She accused an influential businessman with orchestrating a campaign to ruin her father after he refused to cooperate in a plan to defraud the diocese by selling church lands at deflated values to a land syndicate.
The businessman had “convinced some of the pastors of the Diocese that if they help them file fake cases against the then bishop (Bishop Dan) than they’ll make them the new bishop of the Diocese,” which is why “he is jailed now,” Ms. Shabnam said.
She added that when the police came to arrest her father on Monday they “didn’t even have the arrest warrant because nothing has been proved yet. They just bribed some police officers for this and provided them with a private car asked them to stay in Delhi for a week and hired a man to get my Dad arrested.”