“I have a written affidavit from the family that states that they are holding the assets of the Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson Society because the society itself is a non-state subject”
Abrar A. Mattoo
Once conceived to serve the educational purposes of the society, historic Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson schools have been allegedly hijacked by a single family, “converting property of the trust into their personal fortune”.
According to sources close to the management of the trust, Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson Girls schools have been a notable part of Kashmir’s recent history.
“Ever since their inception, the schools have been run by Diocese of Amritsar, the Anglican Church of North India,” said sources, adding that subsequently, in 1991, the two schools were incorporated under a charitable educational society called the Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls Society, registered with the registrar of firms and societies, Jammu and Kashmir on 23 November 1991.
Since then, the society has grown exponentially, but unfortunately, a single family has hijacked all that success and turned it into their personal empire.
During an investigation launched by The Typewriter, it has come to light that assets worth more than 300 crore (approximately) have been incorporated as personal property by the Kaul family which acts a defacto in charge of the Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson Girls Society.
According to the documents obtained by The Typewriter, land measuring 23 Kanals (Kasra no: 1033) at Humhama, Srinagar falling under Kashmir Valley School and 19 Kanals of Tyndale Biscoe School land (Under Khasra No: 1103, 1104) at Shajimarg Tangmarg, stand registered in the name of Parvaiz Koul, his wife Joyce Koul and his son Rahul Rex. Koul.
However, this is immensely surprising, since the sale consideration for the purchase of these lands and amount for the construction of school buildings were taken from the school kitty.
Meanwhile, it’s important to note here, the use of school funds on purchase of land and for construction purposes at separate site was also in violation of the lease agreement that Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls educational institute had signed with the government of Jammu and Kashmir for the lease of eighty-seven Kanals of Nazool (Government) land at Srinagar’s Sheikhbag area of Lal-chowk for an annual rent of Rs. 1250.
“The land at its present market cap is worth more than 900 crore (approximately) and for the past thirty years, the twin institutes have even failed to pay the meagre rent. Currently, the lease over the said land at Shiekh Bagh stands expired since the year 2015 and the government is yet to take any decision,” revealed documents.
According to Sandeep Singh, Assistant Commissioner Nazool, Srinagar, in exchange of grant of government land, the twin educational institutes, Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls, were never supposed to utilize the sums raised from the schools at another school site.
It had to be utilized on the same site that the money was raised from i.e. Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson school site at Shiekhbag lalchowk. “Additionally, the schools had to reserve 25% free-ship quota for the special and poor children of Kashmir valley. But all of these clauses incorporated into the lease agreement remain violated by the institutes,” the official added further.
According to the Society Registration Act 1986, the mandate of a registered educational society is solely ‘to diffuse useful knowledge for charitable purposes.’ Incidentally, the Tyndale Biscoe Mallinson Girls Society is not abiding by the constitutional spirit of an educational society. Its neither providing any free education, nor any cheap facilities to the students from humble backgrounds.
Talking to The Typewriter, two former employees of the society and missionary members revealed, “After all the salaries to staff and other expenses are meted out, the money that remains from the collected admission, tuition, and sports fee’s in four schools falling under Tyndale Biscoe Mallinson Girls society, goes into the pockets of Koul family members. There is no one to question them. The Kouls have the patronage of Bishop of Diocese of Amritsar — a person who is himself involved in two separate criminal cases of misappropriation of church assets in U.P and Rajasthan.”
Pertinently, Tyndale Biscoe Hut (196 – A) at Gulmarg, also stands occupied by Parvaiz Koul. The same was ascertained (when visited) by court Commissioner Ms. Masrat Shaheen (Judicial Registrar High Court Srinagar) in July 2020.
Furthermore, by scrutinizing various Vehicle Registration Certificates, The Typewriter has discovered that a score of vehicles have been registered in the names of Koul family members. Additionally, there are grievous allegation of tax evasion levelled against the same family. In the written arguments (Duly attested by Senior Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch Kashmir) filed in High-court in a misappropriation of funds case against the family, advocate Mohsin S. Qadri stated on behalf of Crime Brach of Kashmir, “The family are indulging in tax evasions which need to be investigated”.
Former employees, wishing anonymity further informed that despite reaching the age of superannuation a long time ago, Parvez Koul retired from the post of principal Tyndale Biscoe School at the age of 76 in 2019. However, he still remains the chairman cum director of the Tyndale Biscoe Mallinson Girls Society. His wife, Joyce Koul, also retired from the twin posts of Headmistress Mallinson Girls School and The Kashmir Valley School, after having attained the age of superannuation a long time ago.
Moreover, a bogus post of administrator was created to adjust Rahul Rex Kaul in the hierarchy of Tyndale Biscoe Mallinson Girls Society. According to a verification carried out by The Typewriter, there is no post with the nomenclature of administrator in the constitution of Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Society.
Incidentally, when the society filed a request for the updation of the members of Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls Society in 2019 with the registrar societies and firms Jammu and Kashmir, neither the post of administrator was mentioned, nor Rahul Rex Koul. Surprisingly, Rahul Rex Koul was working as an administrator way before he was formally appointed on a defacto post of administrator by Bishop of Diocese of Amritsar P.K. Samantaroy in 2015.
A receipt in possession of The Typewriter signed by Rahul Rex Koul in the capacity of administrator in year 2009 points towards this fact. Further exposing mismanagement at Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls Society, sources stated that the trust also violates the J&K Land Grants Act – 1960.
“Since the Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls Society is overseen by Diocese of Amritsar (The Church of North India), the society is not entitled to government land at Shiekhbagh lalchowk,” said sources.
Section 1 of the Jammu and Kashmir land Grants Act – 1960 reads, “Provided also that no land shall be granted under this section in favour of any society unless all the promoters and members of such society are permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir”. Bishop P.K. Samantaroy, a resident of Prakash Chand Road Amritsar, Punjab was named patron Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls Society in an updation form submitted before the registrar of societies and firms, Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
Also, as per the constitution of Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson Girls Society, the secretary and treasurer of the executive committee of Diocese of Amritsar are also the ex-officio secretary and treasurer of Biscoe-Mallinson Society.
When contacted P.K. Samantaroy, Bishop of the Church of North India, he accepted that the Koul family is only holding the assets of the society due to local laws.
“I have a written affidavit from the family that states that they are holding the assets of the Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson Society because the society itself is a non-state subject.” Samantaroy further said that the family members are willing to hand back the society assets, though the family has not done so until now. It continues to enjoy hegemony over the extremely rich Christian trust while violating the local laws and people’s trust.