Police stance in church cases comes under fire in HC

Kochi, Dec. 18, 2018: The Kerala High Court on Dec. 18 rapped the police for adopting different stances in implementing court orders with respect to disputes in the Malankara Church.

Justice A. Hariprasad passed the order while dismissing a petition filed by the Jacobite faction against the Muvattupuzha munsif court order granting police protection to the Orthodox faction vicar of the Marthoma Cheriya Palli at Kothamangalam.

The court pointed out that there was a serious complaint that the police were adopting different stances in implementing the court orders. No discretion is vested in any of the police officers, however high he may be, to decide as to which court order shall be enforced and which shall not be. A lawful order passed by a competent court, whether it be by a court of the lowest jurisdiction or the High Court , the police were bound to enforce it in accordance with the law.

The court added that the police had no right or authority to sit in appeal over orders of courts and examine its correctness. The Police Department, being a limb of the State administration, was duty bound to enforce the rule of law. The police officers concerned could not extricate themselves from their duty and responsibility of enforcing the court’s order by citing some irrelevant provisions from the Kerala Police Act. The legal rights of a citizen could not be decided merely by looking into the Kerala Police Act .

Dismissing the petition, the court said it did not find any illegality in the lower court order directing the police to render protection to the vicar.

(The Hindu)

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