Bench: R M Sahai J
Two clauses in the constitution which necessarily have to be amended in the aforementioned, the objective has to be attained. The clauses are 71 and 46. Accordingly both the parties have placed their proposals. The proposals have been put forward to the patriarch group seeking to amend a large number of constitutions which is not intended to regarding religions.
This is a rivalry which has rose among two parties who belong to the same religion, on the not who is better. In easy words it can be said that this case is between English Christianity and rest of the other Christianity, so in between there comes religious questions on who is orthodox and who is superior and who has to be followed. Therefore the contention of both the parties are same but against each other.
St.Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ came to Malabar in 52 A.D. to spread his message. He died in India.At the Council held at Nicea in 325 A.D. - First General Council - convened by the Roman Emporer Constantine, four Patriarchates were established spanning the Christendom as it was known then, viz., Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch, each headed by a Patriarch. Within the jurisdiction of Patriarch of Antioch was established another office, viz., the great Metropolitan of the East, also known as "Catholicos". The office of Catholicate fell into disuse later and was revived in 628 A.D. Sometime later, it again fell into disuse. All these are matters of faith and are stated merely by way of introduction.By the 16th century, Christianity had gained a fairly substantial foothold in the area now comprised in Kerala. The dominant faith was of the Syrian Orthodox Church. 16th century saw the rise of Portugese political power on the west Coast of India. The Portugese were Roman Catholics. They compelled the local christians to accept Roman Catholic faith. They succeeded to some extent but not for long. In the year 1654, the Christians of Malabar rebelled against the imposition of an alien faith and affirmed their loyalty to Syrian Orthodox Church headed by the Patriarch by taking an oath en masse at Mattancherry, known as the "Koonan Cross Oath". Since then the Patriarch of Antioch was exercising ecclesiastical supremacy over what may be called the "Malankara Syrian Christian Church". With the rise of the British power in the Southern India during the 19th century, they in turn pressurised the Malankara Syrian Christian Community to embrace the Protestant faith. They too succeeded in some measure. Disputes arose between the two groupswhich was settled by an award called "Cochin Award" rendered on April 4, 1840. As per this award, the Church properties were divided between the Church Mission Society (Protestants) and the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church (Orthodox faith). The amount of 3,000 Star Pagodas deposited by Marthoma VI (Dionysius the Great) with the East Indian Company at eight percent interest came to be allotted to Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church in this division.
On account of certain disputes between the members of Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church, Patriarch Peter III of Antioch came to Malabar in 1876. He called a meeting of the accredited representatives of all Churches in Malabar which is known as the "Mulanthuruthy Synod". At this Synod, Malankara Syrian Christian Association, popularly called the "Malankara Association", was formed to manage the affairs of the Church and the Community. The Malankara Metropolitan was made the ex-officio President of this Association. Each member Church was to send three representatives to the Association.
And under the various representatives from different countries, different issues and pleads were issued before the court on Christianity under article 71 and 46.
It was held that judged from the above angle, clause (68) of the 1934 Constitution cannot be said to be a fair one, in as much as the said clause provided for representation Parish Church wise. We took note of the contention urged on behalf of the Patriarch group that with a view to obtain majority in the Association, the Catholicos group has created a number of new Parish Churches with very small membership and that giving equal representation to all Parish Churches irrespective of the strength of their membership is neither fair nor does it ensure a fair and proper representation of the community in the Association. It was held that it is (SCC p. 393, para 158)
"Necessary to substitute clause (68) (now clause (71)) and other relevant clauses of the Constitution to achieve the aforesaid objective which would also affirm the democratic principle, which appears to be one of the basic tenets of this Church. Accordingly, we direct both the parties as well as the Rule Committee (mentioned in clause (120) of the Constitution) to place before this Court within three months from today draft amendments to the Constitution", said the Supreme Court of India.
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