ANDHRA PRADESH

CSI ex-moderator accused of misusing property, funds

Unauthorised sale of property belonging to CSITA alleged

The investigation into allegations of misappropriation of properties and funds worth several crores of rupees over years at the Church of South India’s Krishna-Godavari Diocese, the largest diocese in Andhra Pradesh spanning eight districts, gained momentum with the arrest of the former Moderator (2014) of CSI synod and the Diocese’s Bishop (2002-2018) Govada Daivasirwadam.

Retired early this year after facing allegations, the 68-year-old was named prime accused along with his accomplice including family members following a complaint lodged by Director-Elect Boddu Yohan of the CSI Trust Association (CSITA) with the Crime Investigation Department (CID) way back in October 2017.

The accused was on Tuesday remanded in judicial custody till December 24 by a city court, and the CID officials began digging into more details of the allegations, said CID DSP, M. Bhaskara Rao, the investigation officer.

Before going to file the charge sheet there is lot more investigation to be done to bring out more facts out of the allegations, Mr. Bhaskara Rao told The Hindu .

Mr. Daivasirvadam and his accomplice Godada Samuel Sudhir, the former secretary of the diocese, and two others were booked under charges of dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, fraudulent destruction of documents and others.

The complaint’s main accusation was an unauthorised sale of property belonging to CSITA without necessary clearances and permissions.

Rs. 200-cr fraud?

The former moderator was accused of selling of various properties including 62 acres of the CSI’s prime land in the city worth Rs. 200 crore, five acres of land in Eluru worth Rs. 17 crore and others using benamis from his family and fake link documents.

He was also accused of misuse of crores of funds received by the Diocese from foreign countries for years.

Mr. Daivasirwadam was first questioned by the CID in January.

Later in February, the Hyderabad High Court dismissed the petition filed by the prime accused and Mr. Sudhir seeking to quash all proceedings by the CID in the case.

“The above allegations regarding misappropriation of crores of rupees in different ways taking advantage of their position in CSITA is a serious matter to be investigated into and at this stage the proceedings the case cannot be quashed,” the High Court said in the judgment.

The CID may seek custody of Mr. Daivasirwadam for further investigation.

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