VM: 003/2012. SHOULD THE CHURCH GLORIFY CORRUPT POLITICIANS?

Silent Voice

A/7  Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095.   Contact No. 98707 19628

E mail:    silentvoice58@gmail.com

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Voicemail

1st, March, 2012

VM:    003/2012

 

SHOULD THE CHURCH GLORIFY CORRUPT POLITICIANS?

 

Dear Friends,

 

The title indicates our intentions. It is said, the ocean does not retain anything, particularly the undesirable matter in its belly, no matter how much we try to push it back, it appears on the beach, somewhere or the other, in some form or the other. Those of you have been following us will know that way back in April/May this matter was in the news.( VM: 011/2011 and VM: 011/2011 FOLLOW UP). However, it was subverted by parish authorities using high handed tactics. The recent development is a LORD sent opportunity, once again, to revive the same and root it out, once and for all, as desired by the parishioners.

 

This issue too, is a follow up to the mentioned above. It is related to the multiple plaques, put up in the precincts of OUR LADY OF EGYPT CHURCH, KALINA; in glorification of a corrupt politician, who is in the news once again. His associates have distanced themselves from him. Will the Parish authorities do the same? Will the Parish authorities remove these plaques?

 

GREG

CATHOLICS FOR TRUTH TRANSPARENCY AND WEEDING OF

CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL.

 

 

 VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY

Constituted under Para 29 of Christifideles Laici

(Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of H.H.Late Pope John Paul-II)

(BOMBAY ARCHDIOCESE)

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A/7  Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095. Contact No. 98707 19628

E Mail: silentvoice58@gmail.com

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25th, February, 2012

To

Most Reverend Cardinal Oswald Gracias,

Archbishop of Mumbai,

Sub:     Plaques in the precincts of OUR LADY OF EGYPT CHURCH, KALINA.

Your Eminence,

Attached herewith is a news item that appeared on 23rd of February, 2012, in the Times of India. It is about KRIPASHANKAR SINGH. We need not spell the details because you must be aware of it. It is all over the place in the media.

The purpose of writing to you on this matter is; plaques glorifying this gentleman are adorning the compound of OUR LADY OF EGYPT CHURCH, KALINA. This matter was brought to your notice, way back in the month of April/May 2011, through a couple of letters. Then too, His involvement in corruption was in the media.

It is well-known that parishioners are unhappy about these multiple plaques in the name of this person and had started a signature campaign to get these removed. But the campaign was snuffed using threatening tactics like branding them as DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENTS. From sacred Pulpit, Calling Coordinators, Animators, to be Alert and Vigilant, against such DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENTS, through a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT, and putting up the same on notice board. Do you agree, your Eminence that any person questioning or disliking Parish Priests act, should be branded as DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENT, or is a LESSER CATHOLIC? This is a sheer arrogance and misuse of power, on part of Parish authorities.

Your Eminence, this matter would have been forgotten, and it was also discussed during one of our meetings that it should best be ignored. However, with recent developments, we think that it is about time, the plaques are uprooted and we distance ourselves from such characters. We are sure; his other associates will also begin distancing themselves. The parishioners too will be happy about it.

We call upon you, Your Eminence, to take a decision whether our Mother Church should glorify such characters. We would like to remind you that you once shared a dais with ANNA HAZARE, where you said, “corruption is injustice and we should fight it like a family and show zero tolerance to it.”

Your Eminence, we leave this decision to your discretion.

GREG R. PEREIRA,

Encl:                Media report. TNN.OLEP Plaques Kalina

 

 

Publication: The Times Of India Mumbai; Date: Feb 23, 2012; Section: Front Page; Page: 1

HC puts city Cong chief in dock

Attaches Assets, Asks Police Chief to Probe Case

Swati Deshpande TNN

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the city police commissioner to register an FIR against senior Congress leader Kripashankar Singh for “criminal misconduct” under the Prevention of Corruption Act and ordered the attachment of his and his immediate family’s movable and immovable properties worth crores.

The court order came as a major

blow for Singh who was already reeling from the recent civic poll debacle. He put in his papers as chief of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee soon after the announcement of the order. It was accepted.

The court passed the order while hearing a 2010 public interest litigation (PIL) which alleged that Singh and his family had amassed disproportionate assets worth hundreds of crores of rupees. The HC directed that the PIL’s memo be treated as a first information report. It asked Mumbai police chief Arup Patnaik to personally investigate the criminal case against Singh, his wife Malti Devi, son Narendra Kumar Singh, daughter-in-law Ankita Singh, daughter Sunita Singh and son-in-law Vijay Pratap Singh. Moreover, it demanded that a report be filed by April 19 before any further action is taken.

The high court also ordered the attachment of about 15 immovable properties, estimated in the PIL to be worth Rs 320 crore, owned by Singh’s family. Several of these are in Mumbai’s prime areas. Among them are a 5,000-sq-ft bungalow ostensibly worth Rs 40 crore on Bandra’s Carter Road, a 2,000-sq-ft flat in Hiranandani Garden in Powai, and a 250-acre plot in Ratnagiri. According to the petitioner, the Singhs also possess a dozen cars, including four BMWs.

IT’S ALL IN THE KRIPASHANKAR FAMILY PIL was filed by RTI activist Sanjay Tiwari in March 2010 to “expose corruption in public life”

WHAT IT CLAIMED

t By misusing his immense political clout and office of a public servant, Kripashankar Singh has been amassing wealth totally disproportionate to his known source of income of Rs 45,000 salary as an MLA.

Diversion of ill-gotten wealth to family members against public and national interest

ALLEGED WEALTH t Land, offices, commercial property, flats and bungalows

belonging to Kripashankar, his wife Malti Devi, son Narendra Kumar, daughter-in-law Ankita, daughter Sunita and son-in-law Vijay Pratap Singh in UP and M’rashtra worth 321 crore

t The ACB estimated assets as Rs 4.23cr over estimated income

COURT ORDER

t The PIL should be treated as an FIR against Singh and his family under Prevention of Corruption Act

t Police chief Arup Patnaik to personally investigate case

t All properties of family, except bank accounts, to be attached. CP to give status report by April 19 RAGS TO RICHES KRIPASHANKAR SINGH (63) migrated from Jaunpur (UP) to Bombay in 1973. Initially sold vegetables for a living. Developed contacts with UP Congress leaders while working in a pharma company. Joined party in 1976, minister in Vilasrao cabinet, became Mumbai Congress chief in 2008. Among few state politicians with direct access to 10 Janpath HC: PIL against Kripa not an act of vendetta For its verdict, the HC treated an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report, which listed the Singh family’s assets, dated March 30, 2011 as complete. The court rejected Singh’s request for a stay of its judgment.

In its stinging order, a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi directed the police “to collect evidence about all movable and immovable properties owned by the Singhs, including flats, shops, bungalow, agricultural land, office premises, cars, bank and trading accounts and calculate the amount of disproportion from the FIR and ACB’s March 30 report”.

The judges said that all of Singh family’s assets—excluding bank accounts—be seized and attached. “Most of the bank accounts have already been completely washed out,” observed the judges. The court directed the police to obtain legal sanction for prosecuting the Congress leader.

The judgment ran into 39 pages and was in response to a PIL filed by RTI activist Sanjay Tiwari. During the hearings, the petitioner’s lawyers Mahesh Jethmalani and Mihir Desai took the HC through a number of allegations of “illgotten wealth” against Singh, a public servant since 1994. They demanded a thorough inquiry by the ACB, income tax department and the Enforcement Directorate.

The lawyers alleged that Singh, who hails from a humble background, amassed wealth rapidly and so did his wife, daughter and son, the last of whom trained to be a pilot but quit his job. The wife and daughter, they said, have no regular source of income.

The judgment slammed Singh’s argument that he exchanged several lakhs of rupees with his son and that he purchased and sold the same car with no documentary evidence. The HC said Singh’s explanation—which was recognised by the ACB in its second report dated July 7, 2011—was “unacceptable”. “The conclusion of the ACB about disproportion in its July 7 report is rejected. The disproportion shown to be 11.69% by the ACB “beats our arithmetic as much as our conscience,” the judges said, adding that they were “astounded” that Singh and his family amassed over a dozen residential and commercial properties after 2004.

Singh’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi had argued that the court could not go into the PIL’s merits and that doing so would exceed the court’s authority since the second ACB report had informed it of there being inadequate material to register an FIR.

But the court dismissed all of Singh’s arguments since it “could easily prima facie conclude that a cognisable offence is disclosed”.

Given the profusion of assets, the judges said, the Singhs need to be investigated under PCA and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The court held that the PIL neither seeks to besmirch Singh’s family nor was it an act of vendetta. “This is a case where the petitioner has sought to bring Singh, his wife and children to justice. The PIL has evinced a prima facie case against them. The investigating agency has not found the case to be frivolous. In fact, it has found the assets shown by the petitioner to be correct assets in the names of the respondents.”

The judges concluded: “The right mode of obtaining justice, when the investigating agency has so utterly failed, is through the writ court in a PIL.”

 

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