The Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), a corporation incorporated under the New York Not-For-Profit Corporation Law of the State of New York, USA, has moved the Madras High Court with a civil suit praying for a direction to the Church of South India (CSI) to pay back Rs 18.78 crore together with 24 per cent interest,given towards tsunami relief fund.
In his civil suit, Episcopal Relief and Development president Robert W Radtke submitted that the ERD released the funds to the CSI under the agreed terms and provisions of memorandums of understanding executed between the two parties in March 2005 and in Janaury, 2006 for the partnership activities towards tsunami relief.
But the defendants — CSI, Royapettah, CSI Trust Association by its general secretary, Dr Pauline Sathiamurthy, Trichy, Robert Sunil, CSI, Dr Benedicta Sathiamurthy, CSI and Venugopal Kasturi CSI — had breached the material terms and conditions of the MoUs.
As per the MoUs, the use of the funds must be in accordance with the expressed terms. All the defendants should provide quarterly narrative and financial reports to the plaintiff as specified and in accordance with the indicated timelines.
There was also a specific obligation on the part of the defendants to return all the funds not spent according to the terms decribed and within 12 months after the end of the project period.
The defendants should fully cooperate with the plaintiff or its agents insofar as any auditing activities into the financial and or administrative activities of the defendants.
In view of the fact that the defendants had failed to perform their obligations under the 2005 and 2006 MoUs and further had failed to return all the funds, the plantiff was constrained to commence the legal proceedings to recover the amounts due at the cost and consequence of the defendants, the suit said.