Indian bishop accused of selling university jobs

A court in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has ordered police to investigate the Church of South India’s bishop in Vellore following allegations of corruption.

On 19 May 2015 the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Vellore, Judge Sivakadatchham, directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to review charges the Rt. Rev. A Rajavelu and eight others had demanded bribes from candidates for employment at the church-owned Voorhees College. The complaint alleged twenty assistant professors were asked to pay bribes of $8000 to $25,000 to secure employment at the school.

The affidavit submitted to the police by Voorhees College alumnus N Surendra Kumar alleged the “candidates were asked to pay the amount in the name of a close relative (of the candidate) into the account number for ‘building development purposes’.”

Corruption among the bishops of the Church of South India has plagued the church over the past decade, with two thirds of the sitting bishops facing police investigations for financial misconduct. Two former bishops have been convicted of fraud and the trials of several bishops for theft are on-going.

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