Orthodox Church demands implementing Supreme Court order

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Orthodox Church demands implementing Supreme Court order

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram:  The Orthodox Church representatives who met Prime minister Narendra Modi have requested his support in implementing the Supreme Court verdict. The meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s office on Monday.

It may be recalled that the Orthodox and rival Jacobite faction has been engaged in a bitter battle for control of the properties including churches and other institutions. People from both the sides were even killed in this feud between the two factions.

A Supreme Court verdict on July 3, 2017 had given the Orthodox faction of the Kerala Malankara church the right to all the properties including churches, parishes and institutions.

A review petition filed by the Jacobite faction on November 18, 2017 was dismissed by the court thus giving the Orthodox faction the right over properties including 1,100 churches and parishes.

The apex court’s earlier verdicts in 1958 ,1995 had also gone in favour of the Orthodox faction.

The Jacobite, and Orthodox factions were in collision since 1912, which had led to violence, deaths and police action on several occasions. During a police action several Jacobite priests were injured.

More than 300 churches were closed as a result of litigation and violence and all the government backed mediations to resolve the issue had hit the road block.

It is in this background that the Mizoram Governor, P.S. Sreedharan Pilai has taken the initiative and arranged a meeting of the Prime Minister with both the factions as the Jacobite faction is still creating road blocks and not allowing the government to implement the Supreme Court verdict.

Biju K. Oomen, Secretary of Orthodox faction, told IANS that the meeting was cordial and that Orthodox faction has informed the Prime Minister on extending his support to implement the Supreme Court order.

Mizoram Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai while speaking to IANS over telephone said: “We are trying to solve the dispute between the two factions and the Prime Minister was kind enough to listen to the complaints of the Orthodox faction. Tomorrow the Prime Minister will be meeting the representatives of the Jacobite faction and let us hope that things are sorted out amicably”.

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