The First Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the removal of lock and seal on the doors of St Antony’s Church, Dhanakottiraja Street, Ekkattuthangal.
The 125-year-old church, allegedly standing on Government poromboke land, was locked and sealed in January this year following a writ and then contempt proceedings in the High Court. Passing orders on the PIL from the Parish priest Samuel Savio, the Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.
Contending that the closure of the church had hurt the religious sentiments of about 400 Christian families living in the area, Savio prayed to the court to permit the people to offer prayers during the ongoing ‘holy week’.
When the matter came up on April 10, the Bench felt that it was imperative that the church be de-sealed to enable the devotees to offer prayers during this holy week comprising Good Friday (April 14) and Easter Sunday (April 16). It passed an oral order to this effect.