IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM WP(C).No. 14688 of 2011(I) 1. BELIEVERS CHURCH INDIA,DIOCESE OF KERALA ... Petitioner Vs 1. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE,PALAKKAD. ... Respondent 2. THE DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, 3. THE CIRCLE INSPECTOR OF POLICE, 4. THE SUB INSPECTOR OF POLICE, 5. P.C.JOSEPH,AGED 52 YEARS,S/O.CHACKO, 6. JAMES JOSEPH,AGED 25 YEARS,S/O.CHACKO, 7. JOHN KUNNUMMEL,KUNNUMMEL VEETTIL, 8. CHACKOCHAN ALIAS MATHAI CHACKO,AGED 35 9. SUBIN CHACKO,AGED 25 YEARS, For Petitioner :SRI.CHERIAN GEE VARGHESE For Respondent :SRI.DINESH MATHEW J.MURICKEN The Hon'ble MR. Justice R.BASANT The Hon'ble MR. Justice K.SURENDRA MOHAN Dated :21/06/2011 O R D E R R.BASANT & K.SURENDRA MOHAN, JJ. *********************** W.P(C) No.14688 of 2011-I ***************************** Dated this the 21st day of June, 2011 JUDGMENT
The petitioner, Believers Church India, Thiruvalla, has come to this Court seeking issue of directions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to respondents 1 to 4 - all police officials, to afford protection to the petitioner to possess and enjoy the church and to prevent illegal obstruction to the entry of the petitioner and other believers into the church.
2. According to the petitioner, the 5th respondent was earlier employed by the Church as a priest in the very same church. Later on he was transferred out of that church. He went out of the church. But later he has returned to cause obstruction to the activities of the church. With the support of respondents 4 to 9, he is causing illegal obstruction to the proper functioning of the church. The petitioner was obliged to go to the civil court and Ext.R5(d) interim order of injunction has been passed in favour of the petitioner. But ignoring that order, respondents 5 to 9 are causing obstruction to the conduct of W.P(C) No.14688 of 2011-I 2 the activities of the church. Appropriate directions may be issued under Article 226 of the Constitution to afford protection to the petitioner, it is prayed.
3. Respondents 5 to 9 have entered appearance. They have a different version to advance. According to them, there is a dispute regarding the right to manage and conduct worship in the church. They assert a right to undertake those activities. They do not dispute that Ext.R5(d) order of injunction has been passed against them. But according to them that does not prevent them from conducting worship in the church. The transparent attempt of the petitioner is to take advantage of an order of police protection from this Court and steal a march over respondents 5 to 9. Instead of going to the civil court and seeking further specific directions, the petitioner has unnecessarily come to this Court seeking issue of directions for police protection. This petition may, in these circumstances, be dismissed, prays the learned counsel for respondents 5 to 9.
4. The learned Government Pleader after taking instructions from respondents 1 to 4 submits that there are some disputes about the management and rights over the church. The W.P(C) No.14688 of 2011-I 3 parties are already before the civil court. The police do not want to and shall not interfere in the civil dispute between the parties. In the perception of respondents 1 to 4 police officials, there is no threat to the life or property of the petitioner. If the parties need any further directions, they may be directed to approach the civil court. Police may not be saddled with the responsibility of resolving the dispute between the parties about the management of a church, submits the learned Government Pleader.
5. We have considered all the relevant inputs. We find merit in the stand taken by the learned Government Pleader. The petitioner, it is seen, has secured Ext.R5(d) interim order from the civil court. If there be any violation of the said order, it is for the petitioner to complain to the civil court and seek appropriate further orders from the civil court. At any rate, we are not persuaded to agree that the extra ordinary constitutional jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 can, need or deserves to be invoked in this matter.
6. This Writ Petition is, in these circumstances, dismissed. We may hasten to observe that we have not intended to express any opinion on the rights of the contestants in the civil W.P(C) No.14688 of 2011-I 4 suit. We make it clear that either party if necessary can approach the civil court and seek further orders.
(R.BASANT, JUDGE) (K.SURENDRA MOHAN, JUDGE) rtr/