A seven-member inquiry team has been formed to probe the controversial land deals of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, involving Syro-Malabar Church head Cardinal George Alencherry. The probe was ordered following a Kerala High Court direction on August 12, which asked the State Government to inquire if any Government land has been included in the controversial land dealings of the church.
On August 12, the Kerala High Court had held that Cardinal Alencherry must stand trial in connection with the cases related to controversial land deals of the Archdiocese. Justice P Somarajan had dismissed pleas filed by Alencherry, challenging the Ernakulam Sessions Court verdict that he must face trial in connection with the cases registered against him in connection with the alienation of alleged church properties.
"The Hon'ble High Court...directed the Government to conduct an investigation into the matter through its investigation agencies, so as to satisfy itself whether the Settlement Deed of the year 2007 was executed with respect to any Government land and also about no action/inaction on the part of the concerned officials…," the order, issued by R Thara Devi, the Additional Secretary of the Revenue Department, read.
George Alencherry is also accused in multiple cases pertaining to controversial land deals, which according to complainants in the laity, has led to losses worth several crores to the church, The News Minute reported.