Ranchi: The Simdega Catholic Diocesan Educational Society (SCDES) on 5th July 2009 passed a resolution under its President Reverend Joseph Minj to accept donations from well-wishers and financial institutions to fulfil its planned project ‘Physic-Social Community Development Project of the Society’. The donation amount sought was Rs 40,000 crores. The FCRA Account No SB A/C 4293.
The society also holds accounts in India Overseas Bank at Purulia Road branch at Ranchi with the name and address of Bishop house Purulia, they have another Bank account at United Commercial Bank simdega, having the account number 9664, and the third account in Cooperative Bank Simdega with the account number 121.
The president of the SCDES Rev Joseph Minj passed away on August 16th 2018.
While Rs 40,000 crore was sought by the SCDES, GoaChronicle investigations reveal that such a voluminous amount never came to the educational society in foreign donations but foreign donations amounting to over Rs 321 crores did come to the SCDES.
That over Rs 321 crores were received by SCDES when Rev Joseph Minj was President of SCDES was revealed by the Bishop Vincent Barwa in court in a testimony.
In the High Court of Jharkhand Cr.M.P. No 2268 of 2013 in Vincent Barwa v/s State of Jharkhand, Bishop Vincent Barwa stated:
“Under a project of the Society, several buildings for schools, hostels, residences and a community hall are to be constructed for total estimated cost of Rs.321 crores and 45 lacs. The said money provided by the foreign country has been received at Reserve Bank of India.”
Bishop Vincent Barwa further stated through his lawyer that he had authorised Rev Joseph Minj to operate the account of society but Rev. Joseph Minj exceeded his jurisdiction and hatched conspiracy with several others whereby they received money for their personal use. To this Bishop Barwa filed a Complaint Case No 1917 of 2011.
In fact the Special Branch of the Jharkhand Police in its report on NGOs in Jharkhand mentions the asking of Rs 40,000 crore by the SCDES. It is what led in the investigations into the land deals. The team continues to investigate whether the total sum of money routed to SCDES at that time.
It is interesting to note the flow of money into the SCDES and Simdega Catholic Diocese because last year it came under the scanner of the Jharkhand government when large tracts of land were being brought under the names of 27 priests from the Simdega Dioceses.
SCDES bought non-transferable land “with forgery and deceit” in the name of 27 church fathers associated with the institution at rates way less than the circle rates, thereby causing loss of revenue over and above the illegality of the sale-purchase.
Section 40 of Chotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) prohibits land deal registration in the name of hospitals, trust, society, school, colleges. “So the land in question was divided into small parts and got registered in the name of 27 fathers. This is illegal.
The Jharkhand government is investigating the case of the land deals.
It is also interesting to note that Rev Joseph Minj who was the former Bishop of the Simdega Diocese was produced before the Court of the Judicial Magistrate on charges of cheating one Jyoti Kujur of Rs 16 lakh. A case registered in 2009. He was later released on personal bond.Simdega