A mandamus cannot be issued by this Court for setting up an adjudicatory body or tribunal, the Supreme Court observed.
The court observed thus while dismissing a writ petition filed by John Paily and others who sought a direction to set up an independent Tribunal comprising of retired High Court judges who can look into the claims of each parish Church to determine which faction/denomination must have control over each such Church. They also sought a direction to the said Tribunal to hand over the management of concerned Church to the denomination constituting majority, or in the alternative, to partition all disputed Churches and their properties equitably
"Entry 11A of the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution deals with, inter alia, "constitution and organization of all courts, except the Supreme Court and the High Courts". Having due regard to the provisions of Articles 245 and 246 of the Constitution, no such mandamus can be issued by this Court. Nor can a direction be issued by this Court to the legislature of a State to enact a law.", the bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed. The court said that the petition filed is a complete abuse of the process.
Yet another prayer in the petition was to declare that no judgment shall be allowed to operate against the belief of Petitioners and members of the religious denomination unless the same is not protected by Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India.
"The purpose of the petition, as is evidenced by the prayer (v) extracted above, is to obtain a direction that no previous judgment of this Court on the subject raised should operate. As the petitioners have themselves indicated in the course of the synopsis, the judgment of this Court in K S Varghese vs Saint Peter's and Saint Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church (2017) 15 SCC 333, is the reason for instituting the writ petition under Article 32 since the petitioners consider themselves to be aggrieved by the judgment. The remedy of a party which is aggrieved by a judgment and order of this Court cannot certainly lie by instituting a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution. Such a petition would not be maintainable.", the court said while dismissing the writ petition.
Earlier also, the Supreme Court had dismissed writ petitions which sought to reopen the dispute between Church factions.
Case: John Paily vs. State of Kerala [WPC 428/2021]
Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah
Citation: LL 2021 SC 227