Fraud: FIR against Archbishop of Mylapore Chinnappa and others

published on July 24, 2011

FIR against 12 for misappropriation

Chennai: The Chennai Central Crime branch police Tuesday filed a first information report naming 12 persons, including archbishop of Madras-Mylapore A M Chinnappa, in a case of alleged breach of trust and misappropriation of donations made to the Demonte Charitable Trust over the years.

    The others named in the FIR, a copy of which is with TOI, are Rev Dr Lawrence Pius, Fr P J Lawrence Raj, Rev Fr Andrew, Rev Fr Thomas Simon, Rev Fr KJ Francis, Kabir, Kumar, Y Jeppiaar, MGM Maran and Nhesh Shetty. It also names former archbishop Arul Das James who passed away in 2004. A case has been filed under Sections 403, 406, 418 and 420 of the IPC.

    According to the police, former bureaucrat M G Devasahayam lodged a complaint last year against the 12, most of them trustees of the Trust. In his complaint, Devasahayam alleged criminal breach of trust pertaining to immoveable properties worth hundreds of crores of rupees, meant for the welfare of poor, widows and orphans, and misappropriation of funds belonging to the trust.

    Sir John Demonte, a rich Portuguese merchant, bequeathed in his will immovable properties to charity on July 19, 1820. The properties include 257 grounds (one ground is 2,400 sq ft) of land at Benz Garden (Boat Club Road) in Raja Annamalaipuram and 186 grounds of land at Demonte Colony on St Mary’s Road. However, the property at Benz Garden was illegally put in the possession of Y Jeppiaar by Fr P J Lawrence Raj, property administrator of the archdiocese, the complaint said. This was in gross violation of the terms of the will, Devasahayam said.

    Jeppiaar, Devasahayam said in the complaint, is still in possession of the property. “This illegal delivery of possession was followed by an illegal agreement for 50 years signed in December 2001 by the archbishop for 100 grounds and 50 grounds at Benz Garden to Holy Satellite Township Limited (Holy Land) and Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, both belonging to Jeppiaar, who gave Rs 2 crore to the trust for the agreement,” the complaint said.

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