HC declines police protection to Sr Lucy at FCC convent; says her presence there would trigger disputes

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Kochi, July 22 (PTI) The Kerala High Court on Thursday declined to grant police protection to Sister Lucy Kalappura, expelled from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation for alleged violations of its rules, to enable her reside at the FCC convent at Karackamala and said that her continued presence there would only trigger disputes with the other inmates.

The court, however, said that if the nun was residing at a place outside the convent and approaches the police with a complaint that the convent authorities or anyone else was threatening her or interfering with her peaceful living, the truthfulness of the charges shall be ascertained and adequate protection shall be provided to her.

It said much deliberation was not required to come to a conclusion that the relationship between her and other inmates at the FCC convent was 'quite embittered'.

'The police are required to visit the convent every now and then, based on one allegation or the other raised by the petitioner (Kalappura), alleging wrongdoing by the other inmates.

The continued presence of the petitioner in the convent would only trigger the dispute and there will be continued disharmony,' Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V said.

The High Court also noted that according to her various complaints, she was continuously being threatened with physical harm by known and unknown persons.

'As stated earlier, the petitioner has been swimming against the tide and her commissions and omissions have created quite an amount of controversy,' it added.

The judge further said that since the nun's plea against her eviction from the convent was pending before a munsif court, it would not be proper for the high court at this stage to examine whether she should be allowed to stay at the convent or not.

Instead, the high court directed the munsif court to take a decision 'expeditiously' and not later than three weeks,once the nun or the FCC moves an application before that court over her continued stay at the convent.

'The parties shall be bound by the order passed by the Munsiff.

If either of the parties violates the orders passed as above by the Civil Court, they may move the court and get the order enforced.

'For the reasons elucidated above, I am not persuaded to order police protection to enable the petitioner to continue to reside in the FCC convent, Karakkamala,' the judge said.

With these observations and directions,the court disposed of the nun's plea, seeking police protection and to restrain the convent authorities from interfering with her stay there.

On Sister Lucy's plea for preserving the CCTV footage of cameras in and around the Vicar's residence and FC Convent, starting from at least 45 days prior to May 28, 2020, the court said if she feels police are not probing her complaints properly, she can approach a magisterial court for directions.

'Furthermore, investigation of a crime is in the domain of the police and it would not be proper for this Court to direct as to how and in what manner the investigation is to be proceeded with,' the judge said.

The nun, who argued her case in person, had earlier told the High Court that she wishes to stay in the convent till the case in the munsif court is decided as she has no other place to go to.

In June, the Vatican had rejected Sister Lucy's third appeal against FCC's decision to expel her for 'failing' to provide an explanation for her lifestyle, which allegedly violated church rules.

Sister Lucy, who took part in a protest by nuns belonging to Missionaries of Jesus Congregation, seeking the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, was expelled by the FCC under the Roman Catholic Church in August 2019.

The congregation, in its notice, had termed as 'grave violations', Sister Lucy possessing a driving licence, buying acar, taking a loan for it and publishing a book and spending money without the permission and knowledge of her superiors.

The Vatican had ratified the decision.

The nun, however,had denied the charges levelled against her by the congregation, saying many of them were a 'deliberateattempt to paint her in bad light.' PTI HMP TGB APR ADMINISTRATOR TGB APR ADMINISTRATOR

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