Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], September 9 (ANI): The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has issued a provisional attachment order under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), attaching assets worth Rs.59.52 crore.
According to an official release, the attached assets are in the form of fixed deposits maintained and available with State Bank of India, Sudhamnagar Branch in the name of Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA).
"Investigation under the provisions of the PMLA was initiated on the basis of an FIR registered at Ashoknagar Police Station, Bengaluru against CSITA for dishonestly entering into an arrangement for transfer of title of Defence Land measuring 7426.886 square meters (which was earlier leased to All Saints Church) with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), a Government of Karnataka undertaking," ED release stated.
ED said that part of the precinct wherein All Saints Church, Bengaluru is situated has been transferred to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, a Government of Karnataka undertaking by CSITA for receiving compensation of Rs. 59.29 crores during 2019. Earlier, BMRCL had acquired this said land through Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).
"Investigation revealed that the title of the land belonged to Ministry of Defence, Government of India 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. CSITA illegally transferred the land belonging to Defence authorities to BMRCL. The compensation for the land required to be paid into Consolidated Fund of India as the rightful owner of the land is Ministry of Defence, Government of India," the release further stated.
The central agency further said that CSITA being not the rightful owner of the land illegally transferred the property and obtained the proceeds amounting to Rs 59.29 crores from BMRCL.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)