In Kerala, the revenue department authorities initiated the proceedings against the South Kerala Diocese (SKD) of CSI Church for non-payment of tax dues worth Rs 41.44 lakh as they had illegally constructed 15 buildings in the sprawling LMS Church compound. The action was taken after the official appointed by the Government ordered Thiruvananthapuram Corporation to initiate revenue recovery against the SKD.
A former music teacher, Syam had approached the corporation in 2016 and made the following allegations -
The SKD of the CSI Church had built several illegal constructions in the 20-acre compound in the heart of the city. But with the corporation, authorities turned a blind eye to my complaint.
The irony is that the LMS Church is just a stone's throw away from the corporation office.
There is a threat to my life, but I am unfazed.
There are 55 buildings in the LMS compound, most of them having extensions. New buildings have also been constructed in the compound.
My grievance is that there are a couple of heritage buildings inside the LMS compound. The 150-year- old Bishop House and also a widow home set up by the erstwhile Travancore royal family in 1817 have been destroyed and new buildings for personal purposes of top officials of SKD have come up.
Earlier on July 26, 2022, authorities detained Church of South India (CSI) Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam of the South Kerala diocese at Thiruvananthapuram international airport. The official had told the media that action was taken because he was ordered to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) following his suspected attempt to flee the country. Diocese Secretary T T Praveen, who is also accused in the financial irregularity case registered under the money laundering act, had already left abroad before the ED's raid.