Sudheeran slams law to compensate Believers Church

Says Cheruvally estate takeover is a land scam in the making

Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran on Monday asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to desist from passing a law to legitimise the illegal acquisition of the Cheruvally estate by the Believers Eastern Church.

He said the denomination had purchased the land, an estimated 5.5 lakh acres from Harrison Malayalam Plantation. The transaction was patently illegal, and hence the State government could take over the property without paying any indemnity to the Church. However, the government planned to purchase the land from its illegitimate owner by paying the denomination an outsize compensation. It aspired to pass a law to legitimise the decision.

Mr Sudheeran said the move to compensate the denomination for land that was not rightfully its was a massive land scam in the making under the pretext of constructing an airport near Sabarimala.

At least two commissions and back-to-back inquires by the Crime Branch had concluded that the land belonged to the government. The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) had shone the light on how the questionable “owners” of the land had come into its possession fraudulently by faking land records and enlisting the help of corrupt revenue officials.

The government pleaders, possibly functioning in tandem with those in control of the public land, had deliberately failed to defend the right of the State over the area in the High Court and Supreme Court, Mr. Sudheeran said.

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