Kochi (Kerala) [India], November 11 (ANI): The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to take immediate action if it intends to implement the directive of the High Court issued a year ago to hand over Kothamangalam church to the Orthodox faction of the Malankara Church.
Justice PB Suresh Kumar asked the government to take action while criticizing Ernakulam district collector S Suhas for not implementing the high court's directive of December last year regarding Marthoma Cheriyapalli, Kothamangalam.
The Court said this while considering a contempt of court petition filed by Orthodox priest Thomas Paul Ramban through advocate Roshen D Alexander.
The Union government informed the court that it is willing to deploy central forces to take over the church if the court issues a directive or if the state government makes a request.
The court had asked the Union government to inform about the possibility of using central forces after the state government told the court that it does not have enough police force to be deployed for handing over the church due to the Sabarimala pilgrimage season and upcoming local body elections.
The State government told the court that the parish hall adjacent to the church is functioning as a Covid care centre. The court has now reserved the case for pronouncing the order.
The High Court, on December 3 last year, ordered the district collector to take over the church and hand over its management to the petitioner when peace is established. (ANI)