D Devasahayam, President of the Christian Reformation People Association and a member of Church India, known for his recent legal victory in reclaiming Rs 933 crore worth of land from a missionary outfit, has now filed a complaint against the General Secretary of the Madurai-Ramnad Diocese and others. The complaint alleges criminal conspiracy, forgery, and misappropriation amounting to Rs. 1200 crore.
Devasahayam, based in Virudhunagar, has been at the forefront of legal battles aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability within religious organisations. His recent success in reclaiming valuable land has propelled him to pursue further actions against those he believes are involved in financial irregularities within the Madurai-Ramnad Diocese.
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D Devasahayam, the President of the Christian Reformation People Association and a key figure in a recent legal victory against the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (ABCFM), has filed a complaint alleging criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, and misappropriation of money amounting to Rs. 1200 crore. The accused include Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja, who held the post of Registrar of Madurai-Ramnad Diocese and is presently the General Secretary of the Church of South India, and Mr. Johnson Israel, formerly the Property Officer and currently the Secretary of Madurai-Ramnad Diocese.
In the complaint addressed to various authorities, including the Commissioner of Police Madurai City, DGP-Chennai, Director-CBI, and Director-Zonal Officer ED-Madurai, Devasahayam alleges illegal activities related to the sale and leasing of 31 acres 10 cents of valuable city land in Thallakulam Village, Madurai Taluk, and Madurai District, which belongs to the Church of South India. The accused are accused of financial misconduct, prompting a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
Devasahayam, known for his activism in ensuring transparency within religious organisations, recently emerged victorious in a legal battle against the ABCFM. Madurai district administration, responding to the breach of assignment conditions, reclaimed a property worth Rs. 933 crores on 31.10 acres of land that was initially assigned to ABCFM in 1912. The property was subsequently sold to private flat promoters.
In his petition, Devasahayam highlights the historical significance of the land originally allotted by the State Government to the American Mission for the establishment of industrial homes. The purpose was to empower poor women and women in destitution by providing education in various skills, including sewing, lace making, embroidery, gardening, poultry and dairy farming, book binding, and weaving. The State Government issued an allotment order on November 19, 1912, designating the 31.10 acres of land to the American Mission, which later merged with the Church of South India Madurai-Ramnad Diocese after India gained independence.
The accused individuals, including Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja and Mr. Johnson Israel, are alleged to have engaged in criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, and misappropriation of money related to the illegal sale and leasing of 31 acres 10 cents of valuable city land in Thallakulam Village, Madurai Taluk, and Madurai District, which belongs to the Church of South India.
According to the complaint, Rathina Raja, who held the post of Registrar of Madurai-Ramnad Diocese and is presently the General Secretary of the Church of South India, and Israel, formerly the Property Officer and currently the Secretary of Madurai-Ramnad Diocese, conspired to make illegal gains by selling a large portion of the land. Devasahayam further alleges that the accused officials engaged in constructing a commercial complex and receiving illicit deposits of hundreds of crores as pagadi from merchants.
The complaint outlines a series of transactions involving the creation of false sale deeds and misrepresentations to Church authorities. Devasahayam claims that Rathina Raja and Israel suppressed facts regarding the land’s original allotment by the State Government to the American Mission for establishing an industrial home for poor and destitute women. The accused officials are said to have sold 13.27 acres of land to IIFL Realty Limited, a real estate company, and constructed over 344 shops, receiving more than 100 crores as pagadi from merchants.
Devasahayam asserts that the actions of Rathina Raja and Israel amount to fraud, cheating, and misappropriation of money, leading to financial losses in the hundreds of crores. The complaint contends that the entire property’s current value exceeds Rs. 1200 crore.
The complainant has urged authorities to initiate criminal prosecution against Rathina Raja, Israel, and others involved in the alleged scam. Devasahayam specifically calls for charges under Section 120-B for criminal conspiracy, as well as offenses related to cheating, fraud, misappropriation of money, money laundering, suppression of facts, impersonation, and land grabbing, punishable under sections 406, 415, 420, etc., of the Indian Penal Code.