Pope has no authority over churches in India : Kerala HC
A Public Interest Litigation was filled by Anoop M S which sought to issue directions to declare the Code of Cannon which would give the Pope of Catholic Church powers to control and regulate Church properties in India. The petitioner also raised the argument that the Church properties in question are public trusts and their alienation is only possible with the permission of civil court under section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
However the court was not satisfies with the locus standi of the petitioner as the petitioner was linked to a political party and he could use the case in his political motives. The court believed that litigant is not an aggrieved party and even after his claims that he had no personal interest in the instant case the court is not satisfied. Also the court opined that the aggrieved party should file a petition in the civil court and not in the High court if it wants relief under section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The court while dismissing the plea said that the Pope’s authority over Indian Churches would be detrimental to the sovereignty of the nation. Also article 26(d) of the Constitution of India provides religious denominations a fundamental right to administer and manage its religious properties.