15 Oct 2021 1:34 PM GMT
A plea has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking the implementation of the Apex Court decision in K.S. Varghese v. St. Peter's and St Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church urging that the Patriarch of Antioch should be canonically invited for the upcoming consecration of the Catholicos.Justice Murali Purushothamam on Wednesday while observing that the service was not complete in the...
A plea has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking the implementation of the Apex Court decision in K.S. Varghese v. St. Peter's and St Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church urging that the Patriarch of Antioch should be canonically invited for the upcoming consecration of the Catholicos.
Justice Murali Purushothamam on Wednesday while observing that the service was not complete in the matter, posted the matter to 20th October.
The Court had on Tuesday issued notice to respondents 3 and 4 namely, the President of Malankara Syrian Christian Association and the Secretary of Holy Episcopal Synod Malankara, Orthodox Syrian Church of the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam.
However, the Bench was informed today that the messenger returned and reported that the service of notice to the said respondents could not be completed.
Advocate Haris Beeran appearing for the petitioner argued that they were avoiding service deliberately. Attempts were made to point out that the consecration was planned to be held on the coming 15th, and that by 20th the matter will become infructuous.
The Counsel also suggested that a stay be imposed on the consecration in the meanwhile for the benefit of the petition.
However, the Court observed that a stay cannot be imposed without hearing the other party. Accordingly, the matter has been posted after the court holidays.
The petitioners are members of the Malankara Church and parishioners of St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church, Piravom. They moved the Court aggrieved by the fact that the Patriarch of Antioch is not canonically invited for the consecration of the Catholicos which is proposed to be held on 15.10.2021.
They alleged that failure to invite the Patriarch was against the judgment of the Supreme Court in K.S. Varghese case and against the directions contained in the orders of the Supreme Court reminding the State that there cannot be any violation of the order by anyone concerned.
The manner of the consecration of Catholicos is dealt with in section 114 of the 1934 constitution. The petitioners pointed out that the condition, 'if there be a patriarch recognized by the Malankara church' in that section was dispensed with by the Supreme Court by holding that the present Patriarch of Antioch is the Patriarch envisaged under section 114 of the 1934 constitution.
"Therefore, the canonical invitation of the Patriarch for the consecration of the Catholicos is a mandatory condition precedent which is now totally given a go-by by the respondents 3 and 4 in not canonically inviting the Patriarch for the consecration which is against the 1934 constitution and contrary to section 114 thereof as it now stands," the plea reads.
They asserted that it was against various orders of the Supreme court passed pursuant to the judgment in K.S. Varghese case.
The petitioners came to know that urgent steps are being taken to consecrate the Catholicos on the next day of the election. Therefore, they submitted a representation to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Kerala and the Director-General of Police to see that there will not be any violation in the matter of the consecration of Catholicos by anyone, which they are duty-bound to act in terms of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Exts P2 and P3 orders.
However, they contended that their representation has fallen on deaf ears and no positive action has been taken so far.
"If the respondents stand as silent spectators, it will amount to connivance to illegality. The officers holding the highest position in the State Government, being the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, are duty-bound to see that the judgment and various orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court are implemented, otherwise it will give a wrong signal. Hence this Writ Petition (Civil)," the plea further reads.
Accordingly, they prayed that a direction be issued to the respondents to see that there will be no violation of the judgment of the Supreme court in K.S. Varghese case in the matter of consecrating Catholicos.
The plea also sought a declaration to the effect that the consecration of the Catholicos without canonically inviting Patriarch for the consecration of the Catholicos is against the judgment in K.S. Varghese v. St. Peter's and St Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church and the directions contained in subsequent orders.
Several writ petitions are pending before the court seeking police protection for implementing the judgment.
Case Title: K.A John & Anr v. State of Kerala & Ors