HYDERABAD: A letter issued last month by the chief commissionerate of land administration to all district collectors has made it mandatory that, for any church property sale to be registered, a no objection certificate from the collector has to be produced first.
The directive comes as a shot in the arm for those resisting the large-scale sale of church land across the state. The letter was issued by the then CCLA and special chief secretary Minnie Mathew.
It states that the NOC rule has been made binding following several representations to the AP Christian Minorities’ Finance Corporation regarding illegal sale of church assets in the state.
Incidentally, in March this year, a hostel for orphan children in a Lutheran Mission compound in Guntur district was sold to a private party for redevelopment into a commercial complex.
Although a government order was issued a few years back putting restrictions on the sale of church property, it was soon withdrawn, paving the way for unregulated sale. The order in question stated that church property should not be alienated and there even was subsequent correspondence between the departments of revenue and stamps and registration in this regard before the matter was put aside. “Will these properties, which were sold during the interim period and are being transferred even now, ever be restored,” questions Bhaskar Benny of Christian Front, calling for the cancellation of these registrations.