Tamil Nadu

Couple enter into wedlock as HC clears the decks through Skype

After the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court heard a marriage case through Skype and cleared the decks, a couple entered into wedlock at the Adaikala Matha Church in Odaikal village in RS Mangalam police limit near here amid tight security on Sunday.

Acting on the court orders, a police team, led by Additional Superintendent of Police (Prohibition and Enforcement Wing) S. Vellaidurai stood guard outside the church as Fr Santhanam, a Jesuit priest from Madurai, solemnised the marriage between J David Philiph Raja, a native of Odaikal, and J Arul Viji. The police and the priest heaved a sigh of relief as the couple stepped out of the church after the wedding ceremony and drove for the reception at the bridegroom’s residence in the village. “Everything went off well,” Mr Vellaidurai told The Hindu .

Mr Justice S. Vaidyanathan, who passed orders on a writ petition on Saturday night from Chennai after hearing arguments over Skype, directed the district police to provide protection as the marriage party apprehended trouble with a section of local villagers objecting to the conduct of the wedding in the church.

One of the 100-odd churches in Dalit villages coming under the Sivaganga Catholic Diocese, it remained closed since 2012 after the villagers raised a banner of revolt against the Diocese for “denying” priesthood to G Michael Raj, a Dalit theology student from Odaikal village.

As Dalits opposed to Diocese priests visiting their village churches, the Diocese had appointed ‘administrators’ but they too faced problems, sources said. Denying any discrimination, a Diocese spokesman said the priests were willing to conduct spiritual ministry in the churches at any time. In some of the villages, the Diocese priests conducted Sunday mass at the request of the villagers, he said.

Initially, after the High Court had suggested that the issue be sorted out at the local level, Assistant Superintendent of Police Sarvesh Raj tried to broker peace between the two groups, but the Dalits refused to budge. As the marriage party insisted on conducting the wedding at the church, V Panneerselvam, a local advocate moved the High Court.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 7:07:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/couple-enter-into-wedlock-as-hc-clears-the-decks-through-skype/article7882150.ece

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