Kochi: The fourth bench of the Kerala high court also withdrew from hearing the case regarding the Piravom church dispute. A bench led by Justice Annie John and Justice Harilal withdrew from the case concerning St Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedral in Piravom Valiyapally on January 29 without stating the reason for doing so.

The Supreme Court, earlier, ruled that the ownership of the church should be handed over to the Orthodox faction. The Jacobite faction objected the Supreme Court verdict and the dispute between the two factions continues. 

On December 10, when the Kerala police tried to implement the Supreme Court verdict in St Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedral in Piravom Valiyapally, the Jacobite community gathered in protest. Few protesters climbed on to the rooftop of the church and threatened to commit suicide.

A bench led by R Ramachandran and Justice Devan Ramachandran were about to consider the plea in the Piravom church dispute case. But the petitioner claimed that while practising as senior high court lawyer, Devan Ramachandran had appeared for the Jacobite faction in another church case. This was met with a lot of criticism and the bench refused to take up the case. 

The case later reached the division bench led by Justice Chidambaresh. It was once again pointed out that Chidambaresh also had appeared in a church case and the second bench had to withdraw from hearing the case.

The case was then handed over to the third bench consisting Abdul Raheem and TV Anil Kumar, but they too refused to take up the case and it met the same fate.