City Court stays renovation work of Old Bishop House in city

City Court stays renovation work of Old Bishop House in city

January 16, 2023

Mysuru: A City Court has issued an injunction order asking to maintain status quo and not to take up any works in respect to the renovation of Old Bishop House in city.

Announcing this at a press meet here on Saturday, Mysuru Division Catholic Christian Association President J. Stephen Sujith said that the Third Additional Civil Judge and JMFC Court has issued the injunction order until next hearing in the case.

Stating that the Mysore Diocese Society had planned to convert the Old Bishop House from residential purpose to commercial purpose, Sujith said that the Mysuru Division Catholic Christian Association moved the Court and the Court, which heard the case recently, issued an injunction order asking to maintain status quo until the next hearing in the case, which has been posted to Mar. 27.

Continuing, Sujith said that the land where the Old Bishop House has been constructed was handed over by Mysuru Maharajas to the Bishop of Mysore over 75 years ago. Maintaining that since the construction of the Bishop House, which has been regarded as a heritage structure, six Bishops have stayed in it. The premises also has a Prayer Hall. But Dr. K.A. William, who came to Mysuru as the new Bishop in 2017, constructed a new Bishop House in 2021 at Bannimantap, following which the Bishop’s residence was shifted to the new building.

With the Old Bishop House now remaining vacant, the Mysore Diocese Society, with a plan to turn the Old Bishop House into a commercial place, started civil works on the construction of additional rooms. But the Association, after coming to know of this, visited the spot and got first hand information on commercialisation of the space. Strongly opposing the move, the Association filed a petition in the Court, which on Jan. 12 heard the case and issued an injunction order, he maintained.

Sujith further said that former Karnataka High Court Judge Justice Michael F. Saldanha too, taking exception to commercialisation of the Old Bishop House premises, complained to the DGP, Home Secretary and Mysuru City Police Commissioner through an e-mail.

Contending that 20 percent of the Old Bishop House has been damaged due to the alleged renovation works, Sujith asserted that renovation plans has also hurt the sentiments of Christian community and as such, the Association was forced to move the Court.

Asserting that 25 other Priests of the State too were opposed to the plans, he said that the Association is fighting to save the rich heritage, traditions and characteristics of the Old Bishop House, which has been a symbol of pride for lakhs of Christian community members.

Stating that there are many charges against Bishop K.A. William, Sujith said that a three-member Committee of Bishops had visited Mysuru twice to ascertain facts.

Pointing out that he had made his submission before this Committee, he said that the Committee has prepared a factual report on the matter. Bishop K.A. William has now gone on leave, he added.

Association Vice-President Elvin, Secretary Ambrose George, Treasurer John Fernandes, Legal Advisor M. Shivakumar and others were present.


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