Observing the predicament of the state officials on account of flood rescue operations and efforts to combat COVID-19, the Kerala High Court has held that it is appropriate to seek the assistance of central forces for taking the possession of the Mulanthuruthy church from the Jacobite faction.
A bench of Justice A Muhammed Musthaque made the observation on Monday while hearing a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against officials concerned for not complying with the High Court order on the matter related to the possession of the Mulanthuruthy church.
"As revealed from the fact there is a blatant violation of the rule of law, this court understands the predicament of the state officials on account of their engagement in rescue operations in flood as well as combating COVID-19. In such circumstances, it is appropriate to seek the assistance of the central forces to take possession of the church," the bench said.
The High Court, which was hearing a contempt of court petition filed by Orthodox faction vicar Father Geo George, adjourned the matter for further hearing on August 13.
The state government submitted that due to COVID-19 and floods in Ernakulam, the district administration is not in a position to take possession of the church.
According to the state government, once the COVID-19 situation abates, necessary action would be taken by the district administration as ordered by the court. The state also sought three more months to comply with the directions, but the same was declined by the court.
The Kerala High Court had earlier made it clear that that the affairs of the church shall not be in the hands of the Jacobite faction vicar at any rate and directed that if the collector was of the view that if on account of the deployment of the police for COVID-19 duties sufficient police could not be deployed, he shall wait till such period to hand over the church to the petitioners.
( With inputs from ANI )