Kothamangalam church: HC slams govt and Collector, says central forces will be used

The SC directive in 2017 to take over the church and hand over to the Orthodox faction has not been implemented yet.
Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court
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The Kerala High Court has orally observed that the state government was taking the court for a ride by not implementing its directive issued a year ago to take over the St Thomas church at Kothamangalam and all its movable properties and hand it over to the vicar of the Orthodox faction. The observation, came on Tuesday, while the court was hearing a contempt of court petition filed against the government and the Ernakulum District Collector. S Suhas.

Justice PB Suresh Kumar also observed that the Collector was unfit to hold the office if couldn’t comply with the court's directive and that its order would be implemented using the Central Force. The Court reminded that the State Attorney that it had waited for a year to implement the directive. 

The court said that the Collector was refusing to comply with the order, presumably at the instance of certain political leaders.
The State Attorney, however, submitted the HC that the church would soon be closed, taken over and the state will produce its keys before the court. The court then said that in any case it would pass an order in a day or two.

The HC in December 2019 had directed the state government to take over the St Thomas Church. The court's directive came on a Rampan's plea seeking implementation of Supreme Court verdict in 2017 which had ordered that more than 1,000 parishes and churches of the Malankara Church should be handed over to the Orthodox faction. After this judgment was passed, the Kerala policedid forcefully enter the historic St. Mary's Church in Piravom in Ernakulam and allow the Orthodox faction in.

Meanwhile the Jacobite faction has beefed up its stand that the move to take over the church would be resisted, reported Manorama News.
The HC on Monday had asked the Union government to inform it about its view on deployment of Central forces to implement its directive and an officer who appeared for the Union government furnished the name and address of the competent officer of the CRPF, Thiruvananthapuram.

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