Madras High Court Appoints Committee Of Retd Judges To Takeover Administration Of CSI, Directs Committee To Conduct Elections To The Synod

Upasana Sajeev

13 April 2024 10:35 AM GMT

  • Madras High Court Appoints Committee Of Retd Judges To Takeover Administration Of CSI, Directs Committee To Conduct Elections To The Synod

    The Madras High Court has appointed a committee of two retired High Court judges to takeover the administration of the Church of South India (CSI) and to conduct the election of the Synod. Though a single judge had previously appointed a retired High Court judge to conduct elections, the bench of Justice R Subramaniam and Justice R Sakthivel felt that considering the nature of...

    The Madras High Court has appointed a committee of two retired High Court judges to takeover the administration of the Church of South India (CSI) and to conduct the election of the Synod.

    Though a single judge had previously appointed a retired High Court judge to conduct elections, the bench of Justice R Subramaniam and Justice R Sakthivel felt that considering the nature of work, a committee could more effectively administer the affairs of CSI. 

    The court thus appointed retired judges Justice R Balasubramanian and Justice V Bharathidasan to take immediate charge of the administration as well as the Trust Association and administer the same till the conduct of elections.

    The court added that the administrators were at liberty to appoint other retired District Judges to assist them in the process and were to be paid a remuneration of Rs. 10,00,000 and Rs. 3,00,00 to the District Judges as initial remuneration.

    β€œThe Committee of Administrators appointed by us will immediately take over the administration of both the Church of South India and the Trust Association. We however do not want the Administrators to continue till the disposal of the suit under Section 92. We would therefore request Administrating Committee to ensure that the elections for all the Diocesan Councils are conducted and representatives of the Synod are also elected by the respective Diocesan Councils and a special meeting of the Synod is convened at the earliest possible opportunity to elect new office bearers of the Synod,” the court said.

    The court was hearing an appeal preferred by members of the synod against an order of a single judge in which the single judge had observed that the amendments made to the constitution of CSI were without following due process and found the election to the post of moderator to be vitiated. The single judge had however refused to interfere with the election of other posts noting the majority of votes polled by the candidates.

    The appellants had pointed out that the single judge had not considered the irregularities and other instances of maladministration. It was submitted that there were serious flaws in the constitution of the Electoral College for the election of the office bearers of the Synod including the Moderator, Deputy Moderator, General Secretary, and Treasurer. It was submitted that once the electoral college is itself found to be flawed, the election has to go and office bearers should not be allowed to function.

    The court agreed with this submission and held that the single judge had erred in refusing to interfere with the election noting that results will not be impacted. The court noted that there needed to be strict adherence to the procedures in election laws.

    Thus, the court thought it fit to interfere in the matter and appoint administrators to look after the administration of CSI till the conduct of elections.

    Counsel for the Appellant: Mr.Vineet Subramani

    Counsel for the Respondents: Mr. V. Prakash, Senior Counsel for M/s.Addian D.Rozario

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Mad) 160

    Case Title: Dr A Seshadri and Others v Church of South India and Others

    Case No: O.S.A.No.198 of 2023

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