Kerala

Kottayam Collector told to take custody of church

The Kottayam District Collector should keep the St. Marthasmooni Church, Thiruvarppu, and its premises under lock and key and shall not allow others to use the church or its premises, the Kerala High Court ordered on Friday.

A single judge of the court issued the order on a petition moved by Fr A.V. Varghese of Meenadam, Kottayam.

The Collector shall inform the court when the church and its premises could be handed over to the petitioner, the court said.

The petitioner submitted that despite an interim order passed by the court, he was unable to function as its vicar.

A civil court had earlier passed a detailed order in the case after acknowledging the right of the petitioner. An appeal filed by the respondents in the case was also dismissed, the order pointed out.

The Kottayam Collector, in an affidavit filed before the civil court, had submitted that nothing was mentioned in its order about the manner in which the church had to be opened if it was in a locked stage.

The official had also sought a directive from the civil court about the manner in which the court order had to be implemented. He had also submitted that the church faction, which was holding its control, was not ready to hand over the key to the plaintiff. A law and order situation was prevailing in the region and cases had been registered, the Collector submitted.

The High Court also directed the Collector to initiate necessary steps within one week.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 6:04:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kottayam-collector-told-to-take-custody-of-church/article32356970.ece

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