Kerala

Kothamangalam church row: Kerala High Court slams State govt.

Kerala High Court. | File

Kerala High Court. | File   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

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The court said the stand of the government that the order could not be implemented since a large number of parishioners belonging to the Patriarch faction had assembled on the premises of the church and obstructed the vicar of the Orthodox faction from entering the church was unacceptable

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday slammed the stand of the government in not extending police assistance in implementing a Supreme Court verdict and lower court orders in favour of the Orthodox faction vicar of the Kothamangalam church.

Justice P.B. Sureshkumar observed that “the Constitution fastens on all authorities a non-negotiable obligation to enforce the orders of the court, as otherwise, rule of law cannot be preserved.”

The court observed that the rule of law was one of the basic features of the Constitution. “It is always said that ‘wherever the law ends, tyranny begins’.”

The court said the stand of the government that the order could not be implemented since a large number of parishioners belonging to the Patriarch faction had assembled on the premises of the church and obstructed the vicar of the Orthodox faction from entering the church was unacceptable. If this reason was accepted for not giving effect to the orders of a court, “no order of any court can be enforced” as it was not difficult in the present social environment to arrange people to cause obstruction to the enforcement of an order.

The government stand that the order could be given effect to only by convincing the parishioners belonging to the Patriarch faction to accept the reality of their failure in the litigation was equally unacceptable, as by taking such a stand, the State was usurping indirectly the authority to decide the manner in which an order of the court should be given effect to, which would, no doubt, be against the constitutional scheme and would go against the supremacy of the rule of law.

Govt. stand

The court observed that yet another stand of the government that it feared that use of tear gas or adopting the means of of firing to enforce the court orders on the premises of holy places like the church would endanger the lives of parishioners was not acceptable. The court said that the State with the powers conferred in terms of various enactments was not in a helpless situation.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:25:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kothamangalam-church-row-kerala-high-court-slams-state-govt/article30156437.ece

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