Kerala is part of India, courts there are bound by top court's orders: Supreme Court slams Kerala High Court in Church Case
Irked by the tinkering of its judgement by the Kerala High Court, the Supreme Court of India today made a scathing observation that Kerala is a part of the Indian territory and courts there are bound to follow the law declared by the apex court. The top court was hearing an appeal against a Kerala High Court order in a matter related to churches.
The Supreme Court has restrained all courts in Kerala, including the High Court, from passing any order in violation of the top court's 2017 decision which had held that prayer services were to be performed in consonance with the 1934 Malankara Church Constitution and guidelines.
The 2017 judgement had said that 1,100 parishes and their churches under the Malankara Church should be controlled by the Orthodox faction as per those guidelines.
A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice M R Shah said that as per Article 141 of the Constitution, the law declared by the apex court is binding on all the courts and under Article 144, civil and judicial authorities within the territory of India shall act in aid of the Supreme Court.
"Kerala being Indian territory all concerned are bound to act accordingly. We have intended peace to come in church but due to such orders passed in contravention of law laid down by this court, the law can never be obeyed," the bench said in its order passed on September 6.
"This court has passed several judgments and orders to the effect that no such interference can be made by any court after the decision has been rendered by this court in a representative suit which is binding on all concerned and it is the constitutional duty of all concerned to obey the judgment and order of this court," the bench said.
"We are not able to understand what kind of judicial discipline is reflected while passing the impugned order, which should not have been passed at all. We restrain all the civil courts and the high court in Kerala not to pass any order in violation of the mandate of this court's decision...," the bench said.
"It is made clear to all concerned, more so to the courts, that in future the violation of judgment and order (is) to be viewed seriously. Let similar matters which are pending be decided following aforesaid judgment and order. There can be no further litigation as the decision in a representative suit is binding," the bench said.
"Let Registrar General submit a report to this court as to how many litigations are pending in the court as to aforesaid dispute in the various courts. Let the report be submitted within three months," the bench said.