The Fourth Additional District Court has rejected the bail plea of former office bearers of Lodge Mysore No. 34 for allegedly misappropriating public money. The compliant was lodged on May 28 by Worshipful Master, Lodge Mysore No. 34, G Manjunath, the present director of the Lodge.
The court rejected the bail applications of Abraham Thomas, the former secretary of Worshipful Master Lodge Mysore, No 34, Freemasons Hall, Opposite Town Hall, Pradeep Eapen, former treasurer and Suresh, a temporary employee of the lodge. They have been accused of misappropriating funds up to Rs 1.22 crore.
The order on bail rejection was passed by Fourth Additional District Court judge N Krishnaiah. The complaint was lodged at the Lashkar police station by G Manjunath and the accused had applied for anticipatory bail.
The complaint stated that the trio colluded to siphon off public funds. While Abraham Thomas has been named as accused one, Pradeep accused 2 and Suresh has been named as Accused 3.
Arguing against the bail plea, public prosecutor Raghu Kumar told the court that the misappropriation came to light when the new office bearers of the lodge took charge. Several evidences have to be gathered and the investigation into the case was under progress and cases have been booked against the accused at the Nazarbad police station too. It may not be advisable for the court to grant the accused bail at this juncture, he told the court who rejected the bail application.
The Lodge was established in 1961 by a group of like-minded individuals for public service and spiritual causes and it has been doing good work that aimed at public service since years and used to get contributions and donations in cash and kind from the public.
Abraham Thomas who was the secretary of the Lodge from 2008 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2014, Pradeep Eapen who was the treasurer from 2008 to 2014 had complete control over the Lodge’s finances and bank dealings, the complaint stated.
The misappropriation came to light in 2016, when the new office bearers took oath and assumed charge. The new office bearers found while auditing the finances that several account statements have been corrected and rewritten. It also came to light that several documents were destroyed to hide misappropriation, the complaint stated.
“The former secretary and treasurer had signed on behalf of temporary employee Suresh and withdrew Rs 28 lakh belonging to the Lodge from a nationalised bank. Also, cheques have been signed to fraudulently withdraw Rs 98 lakh from the Lodge’s accounts,” the complaint stated.