Land sold by Cardinal not govt. land, HC told

‘Ownership of land clearly mentioned in deed’

The State Government has informed the Kerala High Court that no part of the 99.5 cents of land sold by Cardinal George Alencherry in Vazhakala village belonged to the Government.

In a report submitted before the Kerala High Court, the Government submitted that an inquiry team headed by Beena P. Anand, Assistant Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner of the Land Revenue, Thiruvananthapuram, had examined the settlement register of the Thrikkakara sub-registrar office and found that land was registered land. The inquiry team also found that "no parcel of the government land" was included in the survey number of the settlement deed.

The court, while dismissing petitions by the Cardinal against criminal cases registered against him in connection with the sale of church land, had earlier directed the State Government to conduct an inquiry and find out whether one of the land, 40.27 ares (99.5 cents), sold by the Cardinal originally had encroached government land.

The report pointed out that on examination of the certified copy of the settlement deed of 2007, it was found by the team that the details relating to the acquisition of the ownership of the land by Alexian Brothers were clearly mentioned in the deed.

It added that the lands were registered even during the period of previous Travancore Royal Government itself. The land was transferred in 1943 by Khadar who had got the title over the land to "the Sisters of Destitutes". It was in 1996 that the land was transferred to Alexian Brothers by the "Sisters of Destitutes."

The court had ordered the inquiry after noticing that the settlement deed by which the church acquired the property did not reveal how the right over the property was acquired.

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