लेखक : उन्मेष गुजराथी
15 Nov, 2022
Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune Diocese had ‘gifted’ himself a luxury car worth 17 lakhs of rupees through a trust of which he is the chairman. However, as soon as a complaint was lodged with the Joint Charity Commissioner, Pune, he suo moto transferred the ownership of this car in the name of the trust fearing action by the Commissioner.
The serious financial crime committed by Dabre in this car case is only the tip of the iceberg. The special investigation team of ‘Sprouts’ has also demanded an immediate inquiry through the CID as it is very likely that he has committed fraud and corruption of crores of rupees in the past.
In Catholic dioceses, trusts are established to run churches and educational institutions. The Bishop is the ex-officio chairman of these trusts. Thomas Dabre is currently the Bishop of Pune Diocese. Churches and 17 schools in 5 districts
( Satara, Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur and Pune ) come under this diocese. Dabre is the Chairman of Pune Diocese Corporation (PDC) and Pune Diocese Educational Society (PDES). Dabre’s 75th birthday was celebrated on 31st October 21 on behalf of these institutions.
The ceremony was attended by Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Pope’s representative in India – Nuncio – Leopoldo Girelli. In the presence of both of them and hundreds of invitees, a cheque (undisclosed amount) was illegally gifted to Dabre by Pune Diocese Corporation. Apart from this, Pune Diocese Education Society illegally gifted a brand new ‘Honda City’ car worth Rs.17 lakhs. This vehicle was offered for personal use, registered on his name.
According to Indian Trust laws, the Chairman or any trustee has no right to receive salary, vehicles or any other personal benefits in his name. Violation of this Act is punishable by life imprisonment as it is Criminal Breach of Trust under IPC. This illegal act by Dabre was reported to the Jt. Charity Commissioner, Pune. Therefore, realizing the seriousness of the situation, Dabare transferred the car’s title on the trust’s name and freed himself from the punishment.
17 schools come under Pune Diocese. Some of these schools are unaided. They have no government aid. During the Coronavirus pandemic period, the financial condition of the schools was bad. Therefore the salaries of all the teachers, clerks and other staff members in these schools along with the principal were reduced by 25 percent. But during this very time, shockingly a Honda City car worth 17 lakh rupees was illegally given to Dabre from the deducted salaries of staff.
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