Record priest’s statement on sale of church property: High Court

Record priest’s statement on sale of church property: High Court

,TNN | Feb 2, 2014, 12.28 AM IST

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MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has directed the personnel at the Vakola police station to ask a Catholic priest if he was the signatory to the sale of property belonging to Our Lady of Egypt Church at Kalina.

Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing an appeal against a sessions court’s rejection of the anticipatory bail plea of applicant Elphege Pereira. Pereira, along with his brother Bonphilo and Fr John Rumao, was named in an FIR that was registered following a complaint lodged by Valerian Fernandes, a tenant of a property belonging to the Kalina church. The parish priest, Rumao is the sole trustee of the property.

According to Fernandes’ complaint, the three forged a conveyance deed to defraud the government by showing the 750sqm property as fully encumbered when there were only five tenants occupying 100sqft rooms each.

Pereira’s defence was that the documents were forged by his advocates. But stating that Pereira had signed the conveyance deed, the lower court held that he had direct connection to the forgery. Bonphilo was granted anticipatory bail because he was out of India during the registration of the deed, and Rumao also got a similar relief because he claimed he had ceased to be a trustee and did not sign the deed.

But on January 31, Fernandes’ advocate Amul Shinde argued that the police had not recorded the priest’s statement despite an earlier direction. Justice Bhatkar then directed that Rumao’s statement whether or not he had signed the conveyance deed must be recorded within two weeks.

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About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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One Response to Record priest’s statement on sale of church property: High Court

  1. Well its good to hear that Mr Valerian Fernandes and those practicing catholics who are homeless for the last 3 years or so could finally get justice. I am confident that our courts will ensure that justice will prevail.
    What is unfortunate is that our very own Catholic church administrative section has turned a blind eye for so long.Our dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias is fully aware of this as I have personally brought this to his notice. Its is also disgusting to hear that the stage actor in the Thane church land sale and this one is the same, yet little has been done to conduct an unbiased investigation by the church administrative authorities and the diocese estate office.
    Our so called clergy preach of love and brotherhood and justice, yet in fact what is happening is opposite.
    Practicing catholics are fast loosing their faith and trust in the church administration and a cry for a change is just around the corner.
    There is little hope left in any improvement and I urge concerned practicing catholics to stand up and demand justice at any cost.

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