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Church takeover: HC to consider deployment of central forces

According to the state government,once Covid situation abates, necessary action would be taken by the district administration as ordered by the court.

Published: 11th August 2020 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2020 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Coming down heavily on the state government for not implementing its order to take possession of the Mulanthuruthy church from the Jacobite faction, the Kerala High Court on Monday observed that it is appropriate to seek assistance of central forces for implementing the order. The court also sought the view of the assistant solicitor-general of India on the same.

“As revealed from the fact there is a blatant violation of the rule of law, this court understands the predicament of the state officials on account of their engagement in rescue operations in flood as well as combating Covid-19. In such circumstances, it is appropriate to seek assistance of the central forces to take possession of the church,” held Justice A Muhammed Musthaque.

The court adjourned the case to August 13. When the  contempt of court petition filed by Fr Geo George, Orthodox faction vicar, for not complying with the court’s order came up for hearing, the state government submitted that due to Covid-19 and flood situation prevailing in Ernakulam, the district administration is not in a position to take possession of the church. The district collector also requires the assistance of police for implementing the order on account of the resistance from the opposing faction.  

According to the state government,once Covid situation abates, necessary action would be taken by the district administration as ordered by the court. The state also sought three more months to comply with the directions, but it was declined. In the earlier order, the court had made it clear that that at any rate, the affairs of the church shall not be in the hands of the Jacobite faction vicar. If the district collector in consultation with the district police chief is of the view that necessary police protection can be given to the petitioners for administration of the church, he shall hand over the church to the petitioners.



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