New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India pulled up Kerala government for their lapse in executing the apex court’s verdict in the Orthodox-Jacobite feud. Justice Arun Mishra said that the Kerala government is trying to overrule the Supreme Court’s verdict passed in 2017 that gave the Orthodox faction the legal right to administer 1,100 churches and parishes coming under the Malankara Church.
The Supreme Court’s harsh tone come during the hearing of the petitions in the St. Mary’s Church Varikoli and St. Mary’s Church Kattachira cases. Though, the Supreme Court gave a favourable verdict to Orthodox church in 2017, the Jacobite faction opposed the verdict and kept extending the conflict between the two factions.
During the hearing, Justice Arun Mishra warned that the Chief Secretary of Kerala will be put behind bars if the Kerala government do not execute the apex court verdict. The Justice also asked to remind the Kerala Chief Secretary about the fate of Bihar Chief Secretary when he was summoned by the apex court in 2018 when state government did not take action against 14 shelter homes accused of abusing the children.
The Supreme Court was not happy with the Kerala government for delaying the implementation of the verdict and said that it would not be tolerant anymore. The Court directed the lawyer appearing for the Kerala government to inform the Chief Secretary of Kerala immediately about the Court’s order.
The Orthodox and Jacobite factions within the Malankara Church are at loggerheads for the past many decades. Their fights had spilled over to the streets many times which saw priests and laymen engaged in fist fights to stake claim to churches and burial grounds.
Both the factions are split over the supremacy of the Patriarch of Antioch. While Orthodox faction are not willing to accept the hegemony of the Patriarch of Antioch, the Jacobite faction believes that the Patriarch of Antioch has temporal power over the Malankara Church.