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Place A Concrete Decision By Next Posting Date: Kerala High Court Directs State On Decision To Formulate Legislation To End Church Feud

Hannah M Varghese
8 Dec 2021 9:01 AM GMT
Place A Concrete Decision By Next Posting Date: Kerala High Court Directs State On Decision To Formulate Legislation To End Church Feud
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The Kerala High Court has directed the State Attorney to confirm if the government is considering bringing about a legislation for the management and administration of the Churches caught in the Orthodox-Jacobite row.A Division Bench of Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Sophy Thomas while granting further time, observed:"We want to see that a concrete decision of the Government is...

The Kerala High Court has directed the State Attorney to confirm if the government is considering bringing about a legislation for the management and administration of the Churches caught in the Orthodox-Jacobite row.

A Division Bench of Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Sophy Thomas while granting further time, observed:

"We want to see that a concrete decision of the Government is placed before us by next posting. It is to be noted that the issue pertains to law and order and the rights asserted by the writ petitioners are based on the judgment of the Apex Court. The Court will have to adopt a very balanced approach to ensure that the law and order is maintained by implementing the directions of the Apex Court."

During the previous hearing of the matter, the Bench had asked the State if it was proposing to come up with legislation to end the ongoing dispute between Orthodox and Jacobite factions regarding ownership of several Churches in the State.

This is in reference to the fact that the Kerala Law Reforms Commission chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Justice K T Thomas had submitted a final bill to the State proposing a referendum to determine the ownership of churches and their institutions.

The order was issued in an appeal filed by the State challenging a Single Judge order directing the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Thiruvananthapuram to take over the Kothamangalam Marthoman church, which is embroiled in the dispute between Jacobite-Orthodox factions.

Significantly, the impugned direction was passed in a contempt petition after the State failed to comply with the Court's direction to take control of the said church on or before 8th January 2021.

The appellant District Collector was represented by ASG S. Manu, Central Government Counsel Suvin R. Menon and State Attorney K.V Sohan.

The respondent was represented by Senior Advocates T. Krishnanunni and S. Sreekumar along with Advocates Roshen D. Alexander, V.B. Unniraj and Alan Papali. 

Case Title: S. Suhas v. Fr. Thomas Paul Ramban

Click Here To Read/Download The Order

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