Hyderabad: Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and a nationwide lockdown, the Andhra Pradesh government appointed the new State Election Commissioner (SEC), Justice (retd) V. Kanagaraj, who assumed office on 11 April.
A message claiming that he was a pastor for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2010 and at present is the chairman of Chevalier T. Thomas Elizabeth College for Women has been doing the rounds of social media.
This claim is FALSE.
NewsMeter searched the website of Chevalier T. Thomas Elizabeth College for Women and found that the chairman of the college is J. Kanakaraj who is also a retired Judge of Chennai High Court. The chairman's photograph on the website is not that of the SEC.
We also did a Google reverse image search of the photos of the pastor that is being circulated online and found that the man in the photos is Rt. Rev. S. Edwin Jayakumar, the twelfth bishop of Tranquebar in the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC). He was consecrated in August 2014.
A few local Telugu news media published articles rubbishing the rumours and confirmed that these claims are false.
Here is the complete profile of Jutice Kanagaraj which shows that he has never worked as a pastor and is not related to any of the organisations mentioned in the messages.
Hence, the claim that the new SEC of Andhra Pradesh was a pastor earlier and is the chairman of a women's college is false.