Weeks after it had turned down a call from the State government to work out a consensus with the Jacobite faction, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church on Wednesday reaffirmed its stance not to attend any meetings to settle the issue without implementing the Supreme Court order.
“Notes addressed to the Chief Secretary as well as the Cabinet Subcommittee have been sent, expressing our inability to attend Thursday’s meeting. We have also requested the authorities to expedite the implementation of the Supreme Court order on the ownership of the Malankara Churches at the earliest,” said Johns Abraham Konat, official spokesperson of the Orthodox Church.
He expressed disappointment over the State government’s decision to defer the implementation of the Supreme Court order at the Mudavoor St. George Church. “The District Collector has sought more time to implement the order there fearing a backlash from the opposing group. In this backdrop, we have no other option but to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the delay in implementing the apex court order,” Mr. Konat said.
According to the Orthodox faction, the Supreme Court order of July 2, 2019, categorically stated that the dispute should be settled only on the basis of its earlier order July 3, 2017. The order had also held that no parallel agreements or settlement efforts should be initiated by bypassing this order.
It maintained a view that the Jacobite faction was indeed attempting to reopen the case, which has been discussed and heard for several decades, in the guise of a consensus meeting.
The Cabinet Subcommittee decided to convene a meeting to discuss the issue in the wake of the attempts to implement the apex court order triggering violence in Churches. The Chief Secretary, State Police Chief and Collectors of the districts where the dispute prevailed were also slated to attend the meeting, to be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.