Kerala High court slams Politicians and Church leaders

published on January 26, 2007

Greater maturity expected from socio-political activists: HC

KOCHI: “Greater maturity on the part of social and political activists is expected,” the Kerala High Court on Thursday said, apparently referring to the hue and cry made by politicians and church leaders over the raid/inspection held at Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, Trissur, on September 30 and October 1, 2006.

The raid was conducted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by IG Winson M Paul, on the orders of the court on March 10, 2006.

CPM state general secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had recently joined the fray by visiting the Retreat Centre and giving a clean chit to it, and finding fault with the court for directing to investigate into the allegations against the Retreat Centre.

“Myopic public activists with an eye on ballot box may collaborate to whip up the cry of religion in danger. But it cannot be forgotten that the danger to religions is only averted when there is a proper investigation/inquiry into such incidents and the truth is brought out,” Justice R Basant said.

While dismissing the writ petition filed by Fr George Panackal, Director of the Centre, challenging the raid. If that be so, one would have expected the petitioner and all others to cooperate with the inquiry/investigation under the unchallenged order of March 10, 2006, so that every cloud over the petitioner-institution is cleared by such investigation.

In a secular polity, all institutions, whether religious or otherwise, are expected to function under law, and no one can resist any attempt to investigate into a crime/irregularity committed by them, on the plea that it is a religious institution, the court said.

That the petitioner is a religious establishment cannot afford any protection against the due process of law. In a society wedded to the rule of law, (which we are) no one, howsoever high, is beyond law. Religious institutions are also not above law.

The generation of such an impression and acceptance of the same, would amount to the negation of the rule of law, the court said.

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