MADURAI: On Sunday, when they managed to get married amid a strong posse of police personnel at a church in Ramanathapuram district, this young couple had a proactive Madras High Court to thank. Also, the online video conferencing tool Skype.
David Philip Raja of Oodaikal from Ramanathapuram filed an emergency petition before the Madurai bench of Madras High Court on Saturday, seeking protection to conduct his marriage scheduled for Sunday morning. Raja was to get married to Arul Viji at the Adaikalamatha Church in his native, but a former priest who was dismissed by the church allegedly threatened everyone against conducting any ceremony there.
With the petitioner knocking his door on a rain-hit vacation day, Justice V Ramasubramanian, the judge in charge of administrative affairs, decided to conduct the hearing through video chat over the Internet. Following his direction, the Assistant Registrar made the request to the portfolio judge, Justice S Vaidyanathan in Chennai. After Justice Vaidyanathan agreed to the suggestion, petitioner’s counsel V Panneerselvam and government advocate S Chandrasekaran e-mailed the details to him, following which the hearing was conducted over Skype. The petitioner alleged that the church had terminated the services of five priests in the district following various allegations. Among them, was this priest who spoke out against holding any event in the church till he was reinstated.
Following this, Raja’s family members approached the local police seeking protection, but nothing was done. Anxious over the turn of events that threatened to stop the marriage, the groom’s family moved the Madurai Bench with an emergency petition. Hearing both parties via video conferencing, Justice Vaidyanathan ordered police protection to the marriage. Advocate Panneerselvam said that the wedding was finally held under the protection of 40 policemen under the supervision of ADSP Velladurai.