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ED attaches assets worth Rs 60 crore of CSITA in Bengaluru

Author: Shemin Joy
Publication: Deccan Herald
Date: September 9 2020
URL:      https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-crime/ed-attaches-assets-worth-rs-60-crore-of-csita-in-bengaluru-884895.html

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs 59.29 crore of the Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA) in Bengaluru in a money laundering case arising out of investigations into receiving compensation from Bengaluru Metro after "illegally" transferring defence land which was leased to it.

The attached assets are in the form of fixed deposits maintained in the Sudhamnagar Branch of the State Bank of India in the name of CSITA. The provisional attachment order was issued under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

The ED had registered a case on the basis of an FIR filed in Ashok Nagar police station in Bengaluru against CSITA for "dishonestly" entering into an arrangement for transfer of title of defence land measuring 7426.886 square metres with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).

This land was earlier leased to All Saints Church, the ED said.

Part of the precinct where the All Saints Church, Bengaluru, is situated, has been allegedly transferred to BMRCL, a Karnataka government undertaking, by the CSITA to receive a compensation of Rs 59.29 crore last year. The BMRCL had acquired this said land through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).

"Investigation revealed that the title of the land belonged to the Ministry of Defence...and it was only leased out to All Saints’ Church for conducting religious affairs of the church and no proprietary right of the land was ever transferred to the Church," the ED said.

However, the ED said CSITA "illegally transferred" the land belonging to defence authorities to BMRCL. "The compensation for the land required to be paid into the Consolidated Fund of India as the rightful owner of the land is Ministry of Defence," the ED said.

CSITA being "not the rightful owner of the land illegally barged into the shoes of defence authorities and has transferred the property". It obtained the proceeds amounting to Rs. 59.29 crore from BMRCL.

"Accordingly identified assets to the tune of Rs.59.52 crores including accrued interest on the amount received has been provisionally attached under PMLA," the ED said adding further investigations are on.


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