An Open Letter to the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. K. P. Kuruvilla

The Clandestine Land Deal at Thalikulam


[ Please find the attached documents at the end of the letter ]

Dear Bishop,

Your response to the dharana held at your gates on 11/06/2010 and the wide media coverage it had received through newspapers and TV channels have only made you an object of public ridicule and exposed blatant lies and inaccuracies in your statements. 

The dharana made it clear that the people of the diocese would be satisfied by nothing less than your resignation as you were bereft of any moral standing in the context of your involvement in large scale corruption and illegal and criminal activities, besides your high handedness, arrogance and exercise of extra constitutional authority of “lording over your flock” instead of gently leading them to “still waters”.

The media faithfully reported your response, which had the following highlights:

1. The persons involved in the dharna are not CSI members

2. The diocesan Executive Committee, which met on 11-06-2010, would resolve to punish the participants of the dharna.  But, your statement, meant to instill fear among those who had participated in the dharna, boomeranged as it had exposed the meaninglessness of your first statement that those who had participated in the dharna are not CSI members. How will you punish those who do not belong to CSI church?

3. You also told the media that you would resign if the charges against you are proved. Kindly refer to the criminal case no.CR-MP4558 before the honorable JFMC Chavakkad, where an order was passed to conduct an investigation over your criminal collusion in the registration of three fraudulent land deeds for alienating the church property in Thalikulam. It remains an incontrovertible fact that you, while declaring loudly over the Sabha Mitram that you had been able to fetch 2 crores and 73 lakhs through the sale of Thalikulam property, had registered the sale deed showing the total value of the land as only 95 lakhs 20 thousand.  (The sale deed dated 21-12-2009 numbered 2365/2366/and 2367 of 2009)

Deed No.
Area (in cents)
Value declared in the deed (in Rs)
Value declared otherwise (In Rs)
2365/ 2009
223.15
90,00,000/-
2,23,15,000/-
2366/ 2009
2
20,000/-
2,00,000/-
2367/ 2009
48
5,00,000/-
48,00,000/-
Total
273.15
95,20,000
2,73,15,000/-

4. The financial statement of the diocese also further substantiates this discrepancy between the actual amount received and the actual amount shown in the sale deed.  Further on, to legitimize this illegal transaction, the Hon. Secretary of the CSITA, whose primary responsibility is to faithfully protect the properties which was given in trust to him, had also substantiated the receipt of Rs. 2.73 crores and ratified the deal with retrospective effect and thus, made it clear that he is also in cohort with the Bishop in the criminal act of cheating and forgery which is punishable with 2 years imprisonment as per IPC 423.

5. However, there is no denial of the fact that you have defrauded the state exchequer of about Rs 18 lakhs by evading stamp duty. Do you want to wait for the police to file an FIR and arrest you? Do you not feel any moral compunction over what had happened, and resign from this position, which only people with high moral caliber and rectitude can hold? If the actual sale value was Rs. 2.73 crores, the stamp paper should have been for Rs. 27.30 laks. You have done a favour to the buyer by cheating the government.

What Prophet Isaiah had said about the people of Israel and what Jesus had later repeated is coming true with our Christian leaders also: “Go and say to this people: ‘Hear and hear, but do not understand, see and see but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people fat and their ears heavy and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn and be healed.” (Isaiah. 6: 9-10; Matt. 13: 14-16)


In the context of this moral insensitivity, we believe that it is our Christian duty to expose further the illegality of the Thalikulam land deal so that other bishops in the CSI, the Synod Executive, Christian Leadership in general can come to an informed judgment of their own as to your involvement in the land deal and also decide on further course of action in relation to your continuance in office.

The sale deed dated 21-12-2009 numbered 2365/2009, executed on a stamp paper worth Rs 9 lakhs, being 10% of the sale value,  by you and treasurer B N Fenn states as follows: “ I, the Chairman of CSI trust association, North Kerala Diocese, Rt. Rev K P Kuruvilla, resident of  Shornur municipality, House No. 40/165, Bishops House and son of Kadakal Kizhakethil Pothen, election ID card No. MKG 3004876, aged 62--”

Now to the best of my knowledge, CSI trust association is a company incorporated under the company’s act 1956 as a non-profit company of a  charitable and religious nature. CSITA is governed by the Indian companies act and CSITA can have only one chairman and that, at the time of registration of the deed, was Rt Rev. J.W. Gladstone, the then moderator of CSI. CSITA. By its article of association and memorandum, the CSITA cannot have chairman in each of the diocese. Instead, CSITA operated through the duly constituted attorneys in each of the diocese. Please refer to the memorandum submitted to the district collector of Trissur dated 24-11-2008, signed by Rt. Rev. K P Kuruvilla and appended to this letter. Please read paragraph 2. What we learn from your own submission to the district collector is given below:

1. “All the matters connected with the properties of the diocese are handled by the Diocesan Property Committee and the Executive Committee of the diocese and the CSITA Management Committee in Chennai as the ultimate authority for the whole of Church of South India. The CSITA has appointed four attorneys in each diocese and in North Kerala Diocese I am the chief among the three attorneys.”


2. “All the movable and immovable properties of this church are held under a trust, the Church of South India Trust Association, whose head office is in Chennai”.
Now it is very clear to all of us that you could have entered into the sale deed, only with the consent of the Diocesan Property Committee, Diocesan Executive Committee, CSITA Management Committee, and only as a duly empowered power of attorney holder. You as Chief attorney along with one among the three attorneys only could have made a genuine conveyance deed. However in this particular instance neither you nor Rev B N Fenn had the appropriate consent or resolution from the Property Committee or the Executive Committee or that of CSITA Management Committee. And also you and Rev. B. F. Fen didn’t have a valid power of attorney from the CSITA to alienate the property. Then, how could you make a false statement in the sale deed and register the same without the power attorney against the very  clear and straight forward direction from the Deputy Secretary of the CSITA that the land should not be sold?

3. Kindly further read the sale deed No 2365/2009 page 3 dated 21-12-2009:
“ Above described property transferred in the name of Church of South India Trust Association by transfer deed of Calcutta sub registrar office Book No. 1, Vol 88 pages 84 – 287 of 1958 transferred in the name of Church of South India Trust association and we, the office bearers of the above named trust association in the diocese of North Kerala, are in possession of the described property. As per resolution No. W/6 - 2009 of 1-12-2009, CSI meeting authorized us to sell and accordingly the parcel of land is hereby sold by this deed of sale today 21-12-2009 for a price of Rs 90,00,000 and the possession  is hereby given to you and we confirm the receipt of Rs ninety hundred thousand on behalf of CSI North Kerala Diocese.” (Signed by Rev. K P Kuruvilla and B N Fenn.)

Now dear Bishop Kuruvilla, are not every claim that you made in the statement to establish your right to effect a conveyance deed false beyond any doubt and totally violating the prescribed norms of alienating a property of the CSITA? Do I have to prove that those statements are false? Since you have “eyes to see but yet, you do not see”, I take upon myself the task of making you understand the utter lie behind your claims for alienating a very valuable CSI Trust property for a such a small amount causing us, the members of the trust immense loss:

1. At the beginning of the conveyance deed, you have stated that you are “the Chairman of the CSITA in the North Kerala Diocese” and now you state “we, the office bearers of the above mentioned trust”.  Are you both office bearers of the CSITA and does that give you authorization to enter into such a sale deed? Why have you not stated your position as Chief power of attorney and Rev. B.F. Fen as one of the power attorneys in the North Kerala Diocese and also provide the details of the resolutions of the Property Committee,  Executive Committee and especially, the most mandatory authorization of the CSITA Managing Committee in the sale deed? The fact is that
a. you did not have a power of attorney
b. you did not have authorization from the Managing Committee of the CSITA,
c. and what you had at the time was a letter from the Deputy Secretary of the CSITA specifically directing you not to sell the land.
You entered into this land deal in undue haste, without proper authorization or power attorney, against the very explicit direction from the CSITA that the land should not be alienated and making false statement regarding your authority.

2. You refer in the Conveyance deed to a resolution, resolution No. W/6 - 2009 of 1-12-2009, where by a “CSI meeting” authorizing you to sell the land. What is this “CSI meeting”? Is there a reference in the CSI constitution or the North Kerala Diocesan Constitution of a “CSIMeeting?” Can the CSITA property be alienated by citing the resolution of a non-constitutional or extra-constitutional body? This is nothing but cheating and fraud.
Going by the article of association and the memorandum of CSITA, its working manual and also by the constitution of CSI and by any stretch of imagination, Bishop Kuruvilla and Rev. Fenn, could not have alienated the Talikulam property, if the CSITA is the legal owner of the said property. What happened is nothing but a fraud committed with the intention of cheating the buyers, the CSITA, and every subscribing member and beneficiaries of CSITA as described in the chapter 4 of the CSI constitution.

3. Now, you make the declaration in the conveyance deeds for the three sales (2365/66/67) that the consideration of the above mentioned properties is Rs 95 lakhs 20 thousand and that you are in full receipt of Rs 95 lakhs 20 thousand before executing the deed. But the total receipts from the sale deeds as per the details submitted to the finance committee in its meeting on 29-04-2010 are Rs. 2.73 crores. The date wise remittance in the CSITA account  is shown in the table given below:

Date Funds received from Amount (In Rs.)
23-05-2008 Thalikulam property 5,00,000
04-06-2008 Thalikulam property 20,00,000
09-09-2008 Thalikulam property 25,00,000
23-07-2009 Thalikulam property 1,00,00,000
30-11-2009Bank Interest 50,742
08-01-2010Thalikulam property1,21,00,000
16-01-2010Thalikulam property2,00,000


This table itself is highly revealing of the clandestine nature of the transaction.
1. In the extract of the minutes of CSITA Management Committee meeting resolution dated 12-05-2010, the honorary secretary of CSITA, Shri M M Philip, informed the CSITA Management Committee that an agreement was entered into between Bishop Kuruvilla and the buyer of the property to sell the Thalikulam land at the rate of Rs. 1 Lakh per cent. Shri. M M Philip had also informed the Management Committee that the land was registered on 21-12-2009 and the total sale value of Rs 2.73 crores was paid to the diocese. Please refer to the receipts shown in the table above.  As on that day, the diocese had received only 1 crore  50 lakhs.  The next payment of 1.23 crores was deposited on 8-01-2010 which is extraneous and outside the sale proceeds. How can you account for this black money which was obviously in your possession and dumped into diocesan accounts when cornered and questioned by the authorities.  How could you execute the sale deed without the receipt of the full amount of Rs 2.73 crore as on 21-12-2009? How could the synod General Secretary, who is also the Hon. Secretary of CSITA report to the Management Committee of the CSITA that the entire proceeds from the sale of land, Rs. 2.73 crore was received before executing the deed? But the financial statement presented in the Finance Committee of the diocese, as represented in the table above, would expose the hollowness of the information provided by Sri. M.M.Philip to the Managing Committee of the CSITA.  As the table above shows, 1.21 crores was received on 08-01-2010 and the balance Rs 2 Lakhs was received on 16-01-2010.

 Now let me take up some of the pertinent questions with you:
1. Before the sale agreement was signed and subsequent to it, did you ever consult the Property Committee or the Executive Committee?  Why did you not submit any concrete proposal for the sale of Thalikulam property as advised by the then Deputy Secretary of CSITA and required under the CSITA Manual? Why did you hide the fact of this sale agreement in your correspondence on this matter with the synod, with CSITA and other statutory bodies?

2. Did you not realize that it is a culpable criminal act to create a document with a false declaration of the sale value of the property and thus involve in the creation of a fraudulent document which casts shadow of doubt not only on this land deal but also on your integrity as a Bishop of Diocese who should be upholding highest standards of probity in public life? You colluded with the buyers in defrauding the state exchequer of about Rs. 18 lakhs for your mutual pecuniary benefit. You have defamed not only your image but also brought disrepute to CSI and the Christian community at large.

3. Since the whole transaction from the beginning was shrouded in secrecy, corrupted by falsehoods and cheating, entered into in undue haste and without essential authorization and transparency, what is the assurance that the real value for which the property was sold is 1 Lakh per cent and the total amount received was only Rs. 2.73 crore. The market value of the land in that proximity, on the side of a beautiful and plain stretch of NH17, is to the tune of Rs 3 lakhs or more per cent. If that is the case, then the real sale value would have been close to 9 crores.  The criminal investigation by the police and other investigative agencies will bring to light the beneficiaries of the balance amount of Rs. 6 crore.

4. The undue haste shown by you to sell the land when you did not have the necessary power of attorney and authorization and the enthusiastic support that you received from Mr. M. M. Philip in ratifying this fraudulent transaction, which had been entered into without power attorney and authorization, lends us to suspect that probably you all needed money for Curtalum Synod election on January 14, 2010.  That election was crucial for you to continue with your nefarious, vindictive and fraudulent acts aimed at buttressing your authority and pecuniary benefits.

5. It is clear from the extracts of the minutes of the Managing Committee of the CSITA held on 12-05-2010, that Mr. M. M. Philip, the Hon. Secretary, based on the complaints received by him, called for the documents pertaining to the sale transaction and that it was based on the information provided by him that the Managing Committee took a decision to ratify a fraudulent transaction that had already been entered into violating all Trust norms.  He conveniently ignored and hid from the Managing Committee vital information which would have prevented them from ratifying the land transaction in Thalikulam.

6. However, by this act of the CSITA Managing Committee and the Hon. Secretary of CSITA, it has proven beyond doubt that the CSITA cannot be trusted with our movable and immovable properties, which we have entrusted with them for their safe keeping, which is the main contention of the Scheme Petition filed before the Hon District Court of Ernakulam by one Mr. T. J. John and the undersigned. The extract of the Managing committee minutes will be submitted to the court as an additional documental proof of extreme irresponsible behavior of the CSITA and its Secretary.

7. When people like me expose these falsehoods, cheating and embezzlements, you take cudgels to finish us off. You resort to extreme measures of summary dismissal of many church members from full privilege membership-excommunication- without going through the disciplinary procedures clearly laid out on such matters in the CSI constitution. As one who had taken oath of office during your consecration to uphold the CSI constitution, you cannot dismantle the democratic nature of our church polity and “episcopacy in a constitutional form”, by your arbitrary and vindictive action.  You will be living in a fool’s paradise if you think that people will take everything lying down. They will react and will not be cowed down by your threats and punishments.

We question your legitimacy and moral right to continue as the bishop of this diocese. 
It is our Christian obligation to retrieve the democratic nature of our church polity, continue and protect the legacy that was left to us by the missionaries, and act as a corrective force within the church to make it what it ought to be. We also are under divine mandate to expose wolfs’ in sheep’s clothing, the thieves that “come only to steal and kill and destroy.”
We believe and trust that by the help of the Holy Spirit, we could form a larger alliance with likeminded people in other dioceses so that the wave of reformation and new life would sweep through the entire CSI cleansing it of its corruption and Episcopal over lording and retrieve our protestant and reformed tradition. We intend to be “watch dogs” for not only CSI Community, but also for the law abiding citizens of this country.
Hence, our struggle will not stop with you but will extend to all of CSI against this moral rot of a priestly religion. If a little of Christ is left with you, understand that forces of good cannot be held at bay for long and that ultimate victory will be for forces of life and goodness.
It is not at all pleasant for a lay person like me to remind a bishop of his responsibilities as a good shepherded, but I am forced to do it as I have no other alternative. I may sum up what I want to convey in the words of 1 Peter 5: 2-3: “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 

Hoping that right sense will prevail and that trusting in God’s ultimate providence,
Yours sincerely,

Sd/-
Tharian Chacko
Member, CSI Holy Trinity Church, Aluva.

A-2, RB, Imperial Park
Old Desam Road, Thottackattukara
Aluva-683108|Email: tharian_chacko@yahoo.com
Tele: 0484-2603070, 9446014044


Attachments


The letter from CSITA to Bishop, restraining him from selling the property at Thalikulam


The Memorandum submitted by Bishop K P Kuruvilla to The District collector of Trissur District : Page 1



The Memorandum submitted by Bishop K P Kuruvilla to The District collector of Trissur District : Page 2




Details of the payments received and made from the sale of property


14 comments:

Jacob Koshy said...

Who is backing this bishop?? If a pet dog becomes mad then there is no option other than to shoot it down. this is the fact. When it comes to humans, throw him out of power and put him behind bars. There is no other solution.

Neena George said...

I've heard a lot about this Bishops activities, from my parents and grand parents. It seems that he became bishop by giving money for vote, I was shocked when i heard that. He'll have to sell at least a few crores worth property to recover the money for becoming Bishop. I've heard that politicians spend money to win elections. This is a punishment for all those who elected him. It seems that there was an opinion letter from the seminary, not to allow him to contest for the Bishop's post. None of the efforts to change him will work. He is a think skinned person.

@ Bishop, if you are seeing this, i would like to tell you something. you will never ever have comfort with the money that you make illegally. today or tomorrow you will face the brunt of it and that gonna be a tough time. It will haunt you your whole life, and your family. This is the same with all your cronies and henchmen. You are not even a person with a Christian attitude. Why live like a worm? you can suppress the efforts of men, but not God. I feel sorry for "Kochamma".

@ CSI Members : By the time this bishop goes, the net asset value of CSI would be "Zero". All these are no ones own property. All these were left back by CMS for the uplift of the poor and the needy. From now on never ever allow a person without any Christian value to become a bishop. He'll ruin everything.

Neena George
19-06-2010
Bangalore

Abraham John said...

Long letter. I dont think Bishop will read this, he would be busy thinking of how to forge more documents and proofs to escape from this case. The system is to be blamed. one KPK goes another KPK comes. I bet a 100 times - he will use all the money and power to influence the people and easily escape from the case with the diocese money. People who have dealt with him will know about it. sorry I'm not a direct victim. one thing is sure, his central bolt is a bit loose, no one does these kind of manipulations with public property other than KPK.

Anonymous said...

dear fellow CSI members,
praise the Lord!
read all these articles. how can we save CSI church?
only through prayer, earnest prayer. so i request you to pray wholheartedly even to our bishop. God came to save sinners.
if u r clean in front of Jesus, you have the right to judge all others.

but i am not perfect. so i do not want to blame anybody.
there is a God up above. He is a living God and remember He sees every person and even their innermost intentions.

may god bless all!
abe

Nidhin said...

really hard to believe. does this mean that the offertory that i put in goes to the wrong hands?

Kurien said...

Adam and eve felt shame when they did sin. We have a new breed who does not feel shame, i feel bad to call you our Bishop just because you are not worthy to be a Bishop.

Anonymous said...

KPK is busy with elections at NKD. He has realized that Its not enough to loot. retaining the loot is far more difficult. I am afraid to tell most probably, this would end in a fight and KPK will run with his cassock folded.

being against the church authorities were considered to be a sin in olden days. Today, time has changed and people are getting educated. everyone knows how to read and write. Still KPK thinks the other way.

Rajesh said...

nanam illatha manushyan, ithine patti kooduthal paranjal njan naarum.

Anonymous said...

This sort of dealings were going on for quite some time in CSI church and when I realized that I stopped "giving" to the church. (the least we can do )Thank god at least someone is saying it loud.
Dr Kurian.

Anonymous said...

The Bishop and the treasurer will have to answer since they done all this without the proper authorization of the diocesan executive committee.Having done all this He is now attempting to lease out the 1.5acre property and an old bungalow at Fort Cochin which is presently run as a hotel by a foreigner to a business man from Ernakulam for a period of 25 years for a meagre amount without the permission of the CSITA.This is a clandestine deal known to the Bishop and his chamchas.The matter has not been published in the Newspaper or in any media.This move has been stalled by the members of the Executive Committee in midst of stiff opposition from the Bishop and his tail wagers.The people should be more vigilant and prevent the leadership from destroying this Church.

Anonymous said...

When these Bishops have taught us in the seminary, they inspired us with revolutionary(or utopian)ideas. But after becoming a Bishop, they are behaving like criminals. KPK is not only one example for this. Other Bishops will also come under this category. Some of the seminary professors ultimate aim is to become a Bishop.The most lucrative profession in modern world is the Bishop post. Being a bishop you can make money for the generations.Only requriement is crooked and be a hypocrite. CSI Bishops think that they are above creator God.The time has come to liberate CSI christians from satanic Bishopric and to proclain bodly like Jesus"this mountain should go".

subash said...

we had lot of hope in Bishop, but once he became Bishop there was a sudden change in him. was these things planned in advance.?

Deepak Ipe said...

What is the executive committee doing about this? Any actions taken against K. P.Kuruvilla? I feel ashamed to address him as Rt Rev. He does not deserve it fellow members

csipass puthiyara said...

UNDERSTAND THAT IN THE COURT THE DIOCESE IS GOING TO FACE PATHETIC FAILURE.SAME IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN PUTHIYARA CASE.SENDING CHURCH WORKERS OUT JUST LIKE THAT.WHICH COURT WILL TOLERATE.WHICH LEADER WILL HELP THE BISHOP IN THE COURT.WE THINK IT IS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE WORLD CHURCH MEMBERS ARE APPROACHING THE COURT TO SEND OUT A PERSON FROM PASTORATE COMMITTEE WHO MARRIED A HINDU LADY AND NOT REGULARISED THE SAME.THIRUMENI,WE FEEL PITY ON YOU.SORRY TO NOTE THAT STILL YOU ARE IN THE HANDS OF TWO PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAKEN OUR PEOPLE FOR GRANTED.

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