HC to hear Church cases on merit on Nov. 16

It says efforts for rapprochement in Malankara Church case have failed

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that it would decide on the petitions filed by vicars of various parishes of the Malankara Church seeking police protection for performing services on merit on November 16, as its efforts to drill sense into the Orthodox and Jacobite factions and find a peaceful solution to the disputes did not succeed.

When the cases came up before Justice Devan Ramachandran, the Additional Advocate General submitted that there was no possibility of a reconciliation of the disputes. In fact, the heads of both the factions had been contacted and the Patriarch faction was not willing to concede.

During the hearing, the judge orally observed that it was a tragedy that one of the factions did not want to end the disputes. The court did its best to end the disputes as it was trued to its constitutional conscience. But nobody wanted to hear and understand. As the saying went, good pieces of advice were rarely heeded to.

The court added that it was unfortunate that the court was forced to implement the Supreme Court verdict in the Church case by sending the police. It was the subjective discretion of the court that prompted it to hold back on sending the police force to enforce the judgment. It should not have been treated as a weakness of the court.

The court had attempted to drill some sense into one of the factions. The court did it because it felt that it was high time the State needed peace.

The Supreme Court had ruled that the 1934 Church constitution was applicable to all Malankara churches. The Jacobite faction was bound to abide by the 1934 constitution. As per the judgment, it was the vicars appointed by the Catholicos of the East who had to conduct elections in the parishes and appoint clergies. If the Jacobite faction was abiding by the judgment, it should withdraw the clergies appointed by it, the court orally observed.

As the hearing progressed in the case, a picture of a shirtless attendee of the virtual court was flashed on the screen. This prompted the court to tell the attendee that this was a court, not a circus or a cinema. The court said if such things happened, it would remove such persons from virtual hearing.

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