Malankara Church Management Law: HC asks for clarification

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The court wants to know if the government. takes Judge KT Thomas’ panel recommendations seriously

A Kerala High Court division bench on Monday ordered the state government to inform the court whether or not it is considering passing legislation to end the factional feud in the Malankara church.

The bench consisting of Judge A. Muhamed Mustaque and Judge Sophy Thomas said they saw in the media that Judge KT Thomas’ panel made recommendations. The court therefore wanted to know whether the government was going to follow up on them or prepare a bill on them. The court added that outside exercise would be futile if the government tabled legislation.

The state prosecutor argued that Kerala’s law reform commissions, headed by former Supreme Court justice KT Thomas, had made suggestions and the government was considering them. The commission had submitted to the government a bill proposing a referendum to determine the ownership of churches and their institutions.

The court issued the order when the state government appealed against a single judge’s directive to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Group Center, Thiruvananthapuram, to take over the Kothamangalam Marthoma church if the district collector of Ernakulam did not comply with the court’s directive in this regard.

In the appeal, the state government said the action of the single judge ordering the central force to seize church premises within the state was an interference with the sovereign power of the State to control the situation of public order. It is up to the state and the police authorities to assess the public order situation here.

The state government further pointed out that in contempt proceedings, if the court found that the collector’s action in failing to implement the High Court’s directive to take over the church was contemptuous, the Single Judge could only have referred the case to a divisional court. . Therefore, the Single Judge’s order violated the rules for contempt of court proceedings.

The court adjourned the appeal hearing to November 22.

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