Marriage outside diocese: HC stays order

By Special Correspondent

The Kerala High Court has kept in abeyance for one month an order of the Kottayam Additional District Court staying a decree of a subordinate court restraining the Metropolitan Archbishop, the Archeparchy of Kottayam, from expelling members who got married outside the diocese.

Justice V.G. Arun passed the interim order on a petition filed by the Knanaya Catholic Naveekarana Samiti, Kottayam, and two others challenging the additional district court order.

The judge observed that the issue involved was the curtailment of the fundamental right of a citizen to marry a person of his/her choice, by insisting that the partner should also be a member of the Archeparchy of Kottayam.

There should be sufficient cause for the court to stay the decree of the trial court, thereby suspending an individual’s right to marry a partner of his/her choice. For now, the issue had been decided in favour of the petitioners.

Being so, the appellate court should not have stayed the operation and execution of the decree, that too without assigning valid reasons, the court added.

The subcourt had declared that by entering into a marriage with another Catholic of other diocese, a member of the Archeparchy of Kottayam would not forfeit the membership.

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