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Bishop arrested over fraud claims
Protestant ex-prelate named in illegal land dealFormer bishop Vijay Sathe of the Church of North India
- Priscilla Pinto, Pune
- September 21, 2012
Former bishop Vijay Sathe, 65, of the Church of North India (CNI), was arrested at his home in Pune and is to remain in police custody until Monday, pending formal charges.
ÔÇťThe court gave us custody of Bishop Sathe to investigate his involvement in entering into a deal with a building firm,ÔÇŁ said S.P. Jagdale, police inspector in charge of the Cuffe Parade police station.
Fraud allegations stem from a complaint filed in 2008 by social activist Cyril Dara over the sale of a plot of land at St. John the Evangelist Church in Mumbai.
The Mumbai High Court┬áthis week┬ádismissed a petition to quash the original complaint, which named bishops and priests allegedly involved in the land deal. The petition was filed by Srikant Salve, a trustee of the Bombay Diocesan Trusts Association, and others.┬áSalve was also implicated in the deal and was to have been arrested last week, but has now fled. Police are continuing their hunt for him.
ÔÇťAt least 11 bishops and 12 priests of the Church of North India are involved in this,ÔÇŁ Dara has claimed.
Bishop Prakash Patole, current head of the ┬áChurch of North India, was unavailable for comment.