Fraud complaint leveled against Tamil Nadu bishop

Former employee charges Bishop in Tirunelveli and others with defrauding a diocesan college of $182,000

The Press Trust of India reports that a complaint of financial misconduct has been laid against the Bishop in Tirunelveli and the Moderator of the Church of South India and three other men, alleging they had defrauded a diocesan college of Rs 9.1 million ($182,000).

On 24 February 2018 Tamil Nadu police announced that they were launching an investigation based upon charges laid by Mr. S.P.T. Nelson, the former principal of Jeyaraj Annabakkiam College in Nallur–a four year degree granting church owned college that the bishop and the other accused had syphoned off money from the school. Accusations of fraud have been leveled against other CSI bishops in recent years, accused of selling places at church-run medical and engineering colleges.

Mr. Nelson had filed a case with the police in Nallur saying that funds collected in the name of the college had been deposited into bank accounts controlled by the accused. The police took no action on Mr. Nelson’s initial complaint, prompting him to go to seek redress from the courts.

Last month’s announcement is not a finding of probable cause for a complaint to be laid before the court, but orders the police to investigate the allegations and then bring their findings to the court for adjudication. Supporters of the bishop on social media have dismissed the complaints as unfounded and were brought by a disgruntled former employee of the college.

The case continues.


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