Church association illegally occupied land worth 60 cr leased to Defence, ED reveals

Last Modified Friday, 11 September 2020 (11:32 IST)
New Delhi: (ED)
said it has issued a provisional attachment order to attach properties  worth Rs 59.52 crore  of a based (CSITA) in connection with illegal transfer of land which was  leased to it by the Defence Ministry.
ED  officials said that as per the attachment order, the assets to be seized by the agency include fixed deposits, which has been maintained and available with the State Bank of India and the the attachment order has been issued under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
 
The probe in this case was initiated following an FIR registered at Ashoknagar Police Station, Bengaluru, against the CSITA for alleged 'dishonesty' in entering into an arrangement for transfer of the title of a piece of land measuring 7426.886 square metres belonging to the Defence Ministry. The land was earlier leased to the All Saints Church in Bengaluru, they added.
 
In an official statement  issued on Wednesday, the probe agency  accused that a portion of the precinct, where the All Saints Church, Bengaluru, is situated, has been allegedly transferred to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), a Karnataka government undertaking, by the CSITA to receive a compensation of Rs 59.29 crore in 2019.
 
"The BMRCL had acquired the said land through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), the EDE said, adding that during investigation it was found that the title of the land belonged to the and it was only leased out to the All Saints Church for conducting religious affairs and  no proprietary right of the land was ever transferred to the Church", the central financial probe agency said.

The compensation for the land is required to be paid into the Consolidated Fund of India as the rightful owner of the land is the Ministry of Defence, the agency said in the statement.(UNI)