"Tell judges in Kerala that they are part of India," the Supreme Court said on Friday while taking strong exception to the state high court's tinkering of its 2017 verdict on right to conduct administration and prayers in churches in a dispute between two factions.
The top court set aside the Kerala High Court order that prayer services at the churches should be performed alternately by the two rival factions of the Malankara Church.
The apex court in 2017 said that prayer services have to be performed in consonance with the 1934 Malankara Church Constitution and guidelines. It had also said that 1,100 parishes and their churches under the Malankara Church should be controlled by the Orthodox faction as per those guidelines.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M.R Shah on Friday got furious after coming to know about the high court order and said, "It is a very objectionable order. Who is this judge? The High Court has no right to tinker with our decision. This is the height of judicial indiscipline. Tell judges in Kerala they are part of India".
The bench was hearing the matter related to the implementation of the apex court order on giving control of 1,100 parishes and their churches under the Malankara Church to the Orthodox faction.
Father Isaac Mattemmel Cor Episcopa, the Vicar of St Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, had filed an appeal against the Kerala High Court order passed earlier.
On July 2, the apex court had observed that "is Kerala above rule of law" and warned that chief secretary may be put behind bars for not implementing its 2017 judgement.
Jacobite church followers have been accused of preventing access to the Orthodox faction, despite orders of the high court and the Supreme Court.