Collector told to file report on chapels
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the Ernakulam District Collector to hand over the key of St. Mary’s Church, Piravom, to the vicar of the Orthodox faction of the Malankara Church.
The Bench, comprising Justice A.M. Shaffique and Justice T.V. Anilkumar, also ordered that the vicar shall thereafter manage the church and burial ground. The order was issued when a petition filed by the Orthodox faction seeking police protection to implement a Supreme Court verdict in favour of the Orthodox faction came up for hearing.
The Bench directed that necessary police assistance be provided to the Orthodox faction to hold the mass and other religious services.
Permission for all
The court also made it clear that all parishioners shall be permitted to participate in the religious services being conducted in the church and also during the burial of the dead.
The Bench further directed the Collector to file a report regarding the details of chapels, including their management, under the church on or before October 30.
When the petition was taken up for hearing, the Jacobite faction took exception to handing over the church key to the Orthodox faction vicar and contended that the question of the administration of the church could not be determined in a case for police protection.
There was no necessity for the court to pass further orders in view of the disposal of an interlocutory application filed by the Orthodox faction seeking a directive to the Collector to take control of the church.