Supreme Court adjourns plea challenging ‘forced’ sacramental confessions in Church
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday adjourned by three weeks a plea challenging allegedly forced practice of sacramental confessions in the Church.
The top court was hearing a plea by five women stating that forcing compulsory practice on a believer was violative of the fundamental right to freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.
The plea has arrayed Union of India and Kerala as parties in the case.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde, S A Bopanna and V Subramanian deferred the matter after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi sought more time.
Rohatgi submitted that the case encompasses important constitutional issues such as whether confession was an essential religious practice.
“As prayed for, three weeks’ time is granted to the petitioners to amend the instant writ petition. Put up thereafter,” the bench said.
The apex court had in December sought responses from the Centre and the Kerala government on a separate plea challenging the validity of alleged practice of forced, compulsory and mandatory sacramental confessions in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
The top court was initially of the view that the plea challenging the religious practice should be heard by the Kerala High Court.
Later it issued notice in the case on being apprised that the apex court, in a judgement of 2017, had restrained all civil courts and the high court from entertaining any dispute related to the 1934 Constitution of Malankara Association.