CSI Bishop appears before ED in Kerala in graft case

Bishop arrived at the ED office in Kochi at 11 AM pursuant to the notice issued to him on Tuesday to appear before it.
Church of South India (CSI) Bishop A Dharmaraj Rasalam
Church of South India (CSI) Bishop A Dharmaraj RasalamFile photo

KOCHI: Church of South India (CSI) Bishop A Dharmaraj Rasalam appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Kochi on Wednesday in connection with the probe over corruption allegations at the church's Karakonam medical college.

Bishop arrived at the ED office in Kochi at 11 AM pursuant to the notice issued to him on Tuesday to appear before it.

The Bishop was stopped yesterday from traveling to England to take part in the Lambeth Conference.

Church sources told PTI this morning that the Bishop had already reached Kochi in order to appear before the agency during the day.

On Tuesday, a church official said that the Bishop ''was supposed to attend the Lambeth Conference which is convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It's a gathering of bishops from across the Anglican Communion.'' ''However, he was stopped at the airport without any prior notice. Even though the ED had conducted an inspection yesterday, they did not warn that the Bishop must not leave the country to attend the conference,'' the official had said.

The ED had on Monday conducted raids at institutions linked to the church over a case related to Karakonam medical college.

The raid was in connection with a case registered for allegedly collecting huge amounts of money from students, promising them a medical seat at the Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College in Karakonam, which is run by the church.

However, Fr. C R Godwin, the Director of the Christian Education Board, had told the media that the Crime Branch had already conducted an inquiry in the matter.

Earlier, in February, the High Court had quashed a report of the Crime Branch giving the church authorities a clean chit in the Karakonam case.

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