2002 Malankara Association: Report by Justice V. S. Malimath

Before Hon’ble The Supreme Court of India
Civil Appeal Np. 8185/01
Most. Rev. Moran Mor Thomas Mathews – Appellant
Most. Rev. Thomas Mar. Metropolitan & Others – Respondents.

Report of the Observer

10-04-2002

In Civil Appeal No. 0185/2001 arising out of SLP No. 7993/2001, the Supreme Court of India passed the order on 28-11-2001 with the consent of the parties giving the following directions.

“With the consent of the parties, we give the following directions:-

i) The impugned judgement of the Kerala HIgh Court dated 6th April, 2002, passed in C.M.P. No. 2079/1997 in A.S. No.331/1980 is set aside;

ii) Notwithstanding the withdrawal of the interim applications which were filled in this court previously, fresh elections to the malankara Association will be held and no court other this court will entertain any suit, application or interfere with the elections or the election process or results at any stage.or the election process or results at any stage.

iii) Fresh elections shall be called by Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews -II by issuing necessary Kalpanas to the parishes and the Malankara Association will be convened under Article 74 of the 1934 Constitution, as mended.

Both the parties desire that an observer should be appointed to ensure free and fair elections. Mr. Justice V.S. Malimath (Retired Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court) may be requested to accept office of observer and to oversee that the elections so called held in a free and fair manner. In this connection, he will be at liberty to give such advicesas he may think necesary for ensuring the execution of this Court’s Degree.

iv) If the Malankara Association when convened, decides by majority that Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews – II is not the Malankara Metropolitan third respondent will voluntarily resign his office as Malankara Metropolitan. If the Malankara Association when convened decides by majority that he is the Malankara Metropolitan, all parties will accept the decision as and final and binding, i.e., this decision will not be subject to challenge in any Court or other forum.

v) Time- schedule for elections and thereafter for convening the Malankara Association will be worked out respondent in consultation with the Observer.
vi) Each of the two parties will deposit initially aa um of Rs. 50,000/- which the registrar of this court towards the cost, expenses and the remuneration of the Observer. Copy of this order be sent by the Registrar (judl.) to Mr. Justice V.S. Malimath with the request that he may kindly convey him acceptance at an early date.

The exercise of conducting elections and thereby executing this court’s degree should be completed on or before 31st March 2002. The Observer is requested to submit a report of this Court on the conduct of the election and the execution of the decre within a fortnight thereafter. The appeal be listed for further directions and for recording the satisfations of the decree on 15th April, 2002.

The registrar by his letter dated 29-11-2001 requested me to convey my acceptance of appointment as Observer. By my letter dated 3-12-2001, Annexure-2, I conveyed my acceptance

2. On 3-12-2001 Most Rev. Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews II (hereinafter referred to as the appellant) presented through his representative his letter dated 30-11-2001, Annexure -3, and his report No. 1, Aannexure-4 Along with the letter, the order of the Supreme Court dated 28-11-2001, the judgment of the Supreme Court dated 20-6-1995, the judgment of the Kerala HIgh Court dated 1-6-1990, copies of the orders dated 25-3-1996 and 5-2-1997, Constitution of the Church, the decree of the High Court and the decree of the Supreme Court were produced. Along with Report No. 1, the provisional schedule for election was produced seeking my concurrence. In the plaint filed in 1975, the list of 1064 Parish Churches that then existed was appended. As several new churches have since been established by both the factions, approval of the observar is sought to issue notices to all the parish churches existing as on 28-11-2001 the date of the order of the Supreme Court, numbering about 1500. Approval was also sought to the use of the letter head, the draft of which along with the English translation were produced. After hearing the representative of the appellant, I passed the order on 3-12-2001, copy of which is produced as Annexure-5. As the election has to be completed before 31-3-2002, the time available being limited, I accorded provisional approval to stages 1 to 4 of the provisional time shecule of election reserving liberty to Most Rev. Thomas Dionysius Metropolitan (hereinafter referred to as the respondent) and other parties to the appeal to file their objections to be considered at the next sitting of the observer at Kottayam at 11.30 a.m. on 11-12-2001 at the State Govt. Guest House. In regard to the other stages of election specified in the provisional tim schedule of election, I gave opportunity to the parties to file their objections to be considered at the next sitting of the observer at Kottayam. I accorded approval to the use of the letter head as per the draft produced by the appellant. As the rules of procedure are in Malayalam, I called upon the appellant to furnish to me English version of the same simultaneously giving copies to the respondents before the next sitting of the observer. To avoid delay in serving copy of my proceeding dated 3-12-2001, I authorised the appellant to serve copies of the proceedings to all the parties and to produce acknowledgements. Accordingly, the appellant served copies and furnished the ackowledgements.

3. I received letter dated 7-12-2001 from the respondents, Annexure-6, acknowledging receipt of my proceedings dated 3-12-2001 and thanking me for agreeing to the observer. He has sated that “we are also very much grateful to the Hon’ble Supreme Court in appointing the most eminent jurist of the nation to advise and observer the election process of our Church.”

4. On 8-12-2001 I received Report No. 2 dated 7-12-2001 from the appellant (Annexure-7) along with English translations of the rules of procedure. He has apprised me about the action taken since submission of Report 1 and requested me to advance the date of election proposed in the provisional schecule of elections from 20-3-2002 to 14-3-2002.. I received letter dated 8-12-2001 from the respondent (Annexure-8) in which he has made the following grievances:

(a) That he has not received copy of the Report No. 1 submitted to me by the appellant and is therefore not able to offer his response; (b) that he objects to the provisional approval given to issue notices to about 1500 churches existing on 28-11-2001 on the ground that it is contrary to the decree of the Supreme Court; (c) that the approval given to the use of the letter head in which the appallent is described as seated on the apostolic thrown of St. Thomas of Malankara Metropolitan etc; is contrary to the order of the Supreme Court which has expressly stated that the election shall be called by Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathew II by name; (d) that there are various points of controversy between the factions which have to be amicably settled, draft list of eligible voters list has to be published, objections called for and finalised and the number of members to be elected to the association from each Parish Church has to be fixed and comprehensive suggestions in this behalf wouldl be separately sent to the observer; (e) that they are aggrieved by the ex parte proceeding dated 3-12-2001.

5. I responded to the objections of the respondent by my letter dated 8-12-2001 (Annexure-9) in which I pointed out that my order dated 3-12-2001 being provisional in charactor I will take final decision after hearing all the parties at my next sitting at Kottayam. As in the mean while I received Report No. 2 from the appellant, I sent a copy of the same giving him opportunity to submit his objections, if any, on the 11th. On the same dat I also wrote to the appellant as per Annexure-10 enclosing copies of the objections dated 8-12-2001 received from the respondent and giving an opportunity to respond to the same on 11th.

6. On my request Hon’ble the Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala asked the Registrar to provide such assistance as may be needed by me such as accomodation, transport, secretarial assistance etc. on 10th of December, the Registrar conveyed to me on phone that BJP and allied parties have given a call for ‘Hartal’ in the entire state of Kerala and therefore it may not be safe for me to hold my sitting at Kottayam on the 11th and suggested postponement of my sitting to some other day. Acceding to his suggestion, I postponed the sitting to 20-12-2001 by my proceeding dated 10-12-2001 (Annexure-11). The agenda for the meeting was also communicated to the parties.

7. On 11-12-2001 I received a letter from the respondent (Annexure-12) enclosing a detailed memoraandum of objections (Annexure-13). It is stated that several contentions which they have raised in the memorandum will be placed before the Supreme Court of India seeking appropriate directions, In paragraph 5 of the letter, it is stated that the parties had agreed before the Supreme Court for appointment of a retired judge who did not have occasion to deal with matters connected with Malankara Church dispute in which the appellant and respondents are involved to be appointed as Observer. However, it is stated that if has now come to the notice of the respondents that when I was the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, I had rendered judgement dated 10-11-1986 in writ Appeal No. 746/86 against the respondents and that they would be placing this fact before the Supreme Court for consderation and appropritate orders. As I did not remember about this case, I obtained a copy of the order passed in W.A. No. 746/86 from the Register of the Kerala High Court. On persal of the same, I found that the subject matter of the order passed by me in W.A. 746/86 is quite different from the subject matter of the appeal before the Supreme Court. However, I felt that consistent witn high standards of propriety we have maintained in the judiciary, I should not continue as the observer in this case. I then wrote a letter to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Annexur-14, for placing my request to relive me, vide Annexure-15. However, th Supreme court, did not accde to my request to be the Observe. Copy of the order passed on 13-12-2001 is Annuxure-16.

8. By proceeding dated 16-12-2001, Annexure-17, I sent copies of the memorandum of objections of the respondents to the appelleant requiring him to submit his response on or before 20-12-2001. I also apprised the parites of the request I had made and the order that the Supreme Court had passed on 13-12-2001.

9. On 17-12-2001 I received from the appellant Report No.3, Annexure-18, dated 17-12-2001 responding to the grievances of the respondent contained in letters dated 8-12-2001 and 9-12-2001. It is stated that no prejudice would be caused ot the respondent as approval granted by the Observer on 3-12-2001 is only provisional in respect of the time schedule. It is further stated that on the advice of their counsel, as a good will gesture, he has agreed to omit the words Malankara Metrpolitan which were objected to by the respondent and issue notices without using these words in the letterhead. As regards the allegation that notices should not have been sent to those which are not Parish Churches of Malankara Church, the reply is that it is open to them not to respond. As regards issuing of notices to the churches that have come into existence after the date of the suit till the date of the order of the Supreme Court dated 28-11-2001 is concerce, it is stated that it was so done in order to ensure representation to the entire community. It is further stated that the Tribunal has been constituted for dealing with complaints from the aggrieved parties consisting of five persons. The appellant proposed to hold the association meeting on 14-3-2002 at the Catholicate College Ground Pathanamthitta.

10. On 18-12-2001 the appellant filed his reply Annexure-19 to the memorandum of objections submitted by the respondent. It is inter alia stated that Knanya Diocese are constituent churches of Malankara Church and hence notices were issued to all them. It any one of them has not received notice they have the right and liberty to participate in the convening in two leading Malayalam dailies, the athe order of the Supreme Court does not direct that the appellant should take action in consultation with the patriarch faction; that it is not right to confine the election only to 1064 churches, that the allegations made in para 17 of their objections are denied; that consistent with the order of the Supreme Court steps are being taken to ensure maximum representation; that the voters list has to be prepared by the Vicars abnd that the list of the voters would be finalised after hearing all the objections.

11. As notified to all the parties, my sitting was held in the Govt. Guest house at Kottayam on 20-12-2001. The appellant and the respondents were duly represented. The Order parties were not present in spite of service of notice. At the out set, the senior counsel for the respondent Sri. S.V.S. Aiyer presented letter of the respondent dated 19-12-2001 (Annexure-20) in which it is stated that he has filed an application hecore the Supreme Court seeking certain clarifications/orders on certain issues and that until the Supreme Court passes orders on that applicaion, I should not take any further steps relating to the election process. On behalf of the appellant, it was submitted that the contentions raised by the respondents are untenable and have been put forward only to protract the matter. It was further submitted that it would not be possible to complete the election within the time fixed by the Supreme Court if the advice of the observer on the preliminary steps for hilding the elction are deferred to await the orders of the Supreme Court on the Application said to have been filed by the respondent.

12. After hearing both the parties, I rejected the request of the respondent and decided to proceed to finalise the schedule for conducting the election, subject to the decision of the Supreme Court on the application of the respondent. I made it clear that steps already taken shall be modified to bring them in tune with the directions of the Supreme Court. I upheld the objections of the respondent to the decription of the appellant in the letter head used by the appellant for the purpose of election and directed that he should describe himslef only as Moroan Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathew II. In regard to the letters already issued on the basis of the provisional approval I had accorded earlier is concerned, I clarified that the objectionable part must be deemed to have been deleted. A copy of my order was directed to be sent to all the parites to whom Kalpanas have already been sent on the basis of the provisional approval accorded by me. I dictated in the presence of the parties my order rejecting the request of the respondent to postpone the prooceeding to await the directions of the Supreme Court and called upon the parties to make submissions with regard to finalisation of the time schedule for the election. At this stage the counsel for the respondent made a request that they may be given fifteen minutes time to discuss the matter among themselves for making further submissions before me. Accordingly I adjourned the proceedings for fifteen minutes.

13. After hals an hour all the parties assembled. The counsel for the respondent submitted that in their opinion it would be futile to participate in the further proceedings for finalising the time schedule for the election as the crucial matters which are essential for finalising the time schedule are yet to be decided by the Supreme Court on their application. They further submitted that in the circumstances they would not participate in the further deliberations. Sri. P.J. Philip Advocate essistiing the senior Counsel for the respondent walked out. I tried to persuade the counsel for the respondent to participate in the proceedings and cooperate with the Observer as no prejudice would be caused to them. However, the respondent could not be persuaded and the senior counsel and others representinf the respondent walked away from the proceedings. I then heard the representatives of the appellant. I told them that though respondent had walked away, in fairness I would like to consider the writtern objections already submitted by the respondent. I heard the representatives of the appellant on all the issues: On conclusion of the hearing, I dictated Part II of my order regarding finalisation of the draft schedule for holding the election etc.,

14. Whereas the contention of the appellant is that all the churches existing on 28-11-2001, the date of the order of the Supre Court, should be regarded ad being process, the contention taken in the written objections of the respondent is that the election should be limited to 1064 churches that were in existence as on the date of the relevant aspectis, which I have discussed in my detailed order, I came to the conclusion that 28-11-2001 should be taken as the relevant date for the purpose of preparing the voters list. I made it clear that no Parish Church should be excluded on the ground that it belongs to the rival faction. I observed that if any party has any grievance about such exclusion he may bring his complaint before me.

15. As regards the venue for the conduct of the meeting and election is concerned, the appellant proposed to hold in Patanamthitta, whereas the respondent has suggested in his written submission that it should be held in Ernakulam. I was able to gather that many of the earlier association meetings were held at the sacred place at Parumala. In the circumstances, I fixed Parumala as the venue, rejecting the suggestions made by both the parites. I instructed that voting shall be by secret ballot and prescribed the format of the ballot paper. I decided to be present at the meeting/election and to appoint such other persons as I consider appropriate to assist me in this behalf. I directed that counting shall be done immediately after the voting is over and that the result should be duly authenticated by the Observer. I did not approve the suggestion of the appellant to hold the association meetiing and election on 14-3-2002 as it would not allow the minimum of 12 weeks time prescribed by the rules. Hence time schedule was modified fixing the date of meeting/election on 20-3-2002. The appellant had nominated the Election Tribunal iin consultation of the Managing Committee consisting of five persons. As. none of them belong to the patriarch faction, I suggested that they should add to persons from the partiarch faction of the Tribunal. After gathering the names of suitable persons from the patriarch faction, I sugegsted that Mr. A.M. Thomas, former Central Minister and High Commissioner to Australia and Rev. Fr. Geevarhese Kalooparambil, Professor in C.M.S. College should be added as members of the Tribunal. I advised that every effort should be made to give opportunity to all the Parish Church members belonging to the patriarch faction to participate at every stage. I appealed to both the factions to cooprate and assist me in carrying out the directions of the Supreme Court. I made it celar that the advice I had tendered by my order is subject to the order that may be passed by the Supreme Court on the application of the respondent. Copy of my order is at Annexure-21.

16. On 3-1-2002 the appeallant submitted Report No.4, Annexure-22, stating that action has been taken as directed, by communicating paras 3 and 4 of my proceeding dated 20-12-2001 to all the Metropolitan and Parishes concerned.

17. After receiving copy of my proceeding dated 20-12-2001, the respondent submitted his objection, Annexure-23. I forward the same to the appellant by my letter dated 8-1-2002, Annexure-24, for his response. The appellant has responded to the same by his reply Annexure-25 dated 12-1-20902. It is inter alia pointed out that the respondent having boy-cotted the sitting of the observer at Kottayam and having publicly in the election they have no right to complain. As they have only reiterated the objections which have been rejected by my earlier order no further action is called for.

18. On 11-2-2002 I received Report No.5 dated 6-2-2002, Annexure-27, submitted by the appellant regarding compliance with the directions given by me. It is seen from the same that notice regarding convening of the meeting of Malankara Association on 20-3-2002, along tieh the relevant particulars were despatched to all the Parishes on 24th December, 2002. The notice was also published in two leading newspapers on 25-12-2001. If there are any Parishes which have been inadvertently omitted they were given opportunity to comply with the notice and furnish the required information in response to the notice published in the newspapers. It is reported taht lections were duly conducted in all the Parish Churches and the results communicated on or before 29-1-2002. On that basis the preliminary list of voters was prepared and published on 5-2-2002 in the office of the appellant and at the venue of the meeting. Wide publicity was given about publication of the preliminary list of voters (members) in the newspapers dated 5-2-2002. The last date for receipt of the compliance was 12-2-2002. It was notified that final voters list would be published on 26-2-2002. In al 1244 Parish Churches particiapted in the election and the total number of voters was found to be 284514. Among them, 90 parish Churches were previously in the patriarch faction. Draft ballot papepr prepard in accordance with my directions was enclosed to the Report. Brief summary of the arrnagements made for the conduct of the election was also furnished. I found them satisfactory.

Voters list

19. On 26-2-2002 final voters list was published and copy of the same was sent to me. It was reported taht copy of the same was sent to the respondent also. It is stated that the Tribunal received a total of 45 complaints within the time fixed, namely, 12-2-2002. After issuing notice to the parties concerned and considering their representations, the Tribunal allowed eight objections and the elcletion were set aside. Summary of the Tribunals that all the members of the Tribunal participated in the proceedings except Mr. A.M. Thomas who could not attend because of his ill health. All the decisions were unanimous. I am satisfied taht elections were conducted freely and fairly. The final list of voters was prepared diligently and correctly. On 5-3-2002 the Secretary of the appellant received gthe nomination papers for the Managing Committee. After scrutiny by the Tribunal they were accepted oon 6-3-2002.

20. The respondent by his letter dated 6-3-2002 Annexure-29, complained to me that the appellan t has failed to comply with my directions in several respects. Inter alia it is alleged that copies of the result of the election of the Parish Churchs have not been furnished to him and that agenda item No.1 is wrongly worded sughgesting that the members should decide that Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathew II is the Malankara Metropolitan. I forwarded this letter to the appellant for his response and to correct the mistakes. In response to the same, the appellant sent a reply as per Annexure-30 dated 14-3-2002 after making the necessary corrections to agenda items Nos. 4 and 5. Amended agenda is Annexure-31 The remaining points were dealt with in the letter dated 15-3-2002, Annexure-32. I was also informed that the result of election of all the Parish Churches have since been conveyed. It was inter alia pointed out that the allocation of the number of members of the Managing Committee to the various dioces was mad by the Managing Committee itself in accordance with the past practice and procedure. I did not find any thing irregular in this behalf. The final agenda Annexure-31 was published on 12-3-02.

COMPLAINTS

21. I had received 382 complaints of whom 14 were received after 20-3-2002, the date of the meeting. Of them only 12 are addressed to me and 370 are copies of complaints addressed to the appellant. The gist of all the complaints and the appellants response to them are furnished in a tabular form. They are in file Annexure-33 All the complaints receieve by the appellant are similar the stand taken being that they are not bound by the out come of the elecltion/meeting convened on 20-30-02. The appellant responded by saying that the complaingns would be bound by whatever decisions are taken at the validly convened meeting of the Association at Parumala. None of them complained that any rules of procedure are violalted. They also do not say what measures should be taken to enable them to participate. In substance they do not seek any relief. They only convey their decision not to participate in the election/meeting. Hence, no action is called for on these complaints.

22. I shall now consider the 11 complaints addressed to me. Sr. Ps. Zacharia in his complaint dated 14-3-20 says that Sri T.G. VArghese is a Parish members of OCNE Church at Kuwait but his name also appears in St. Mary’s Church Thumpamon. When the preliminary list was published in this behalf he did not avail of the opportunity of filing a complaint before the Tribunal. The complaint is belated it having been filed long after the final list is published. Fr. Geeverghese in his complaint dated 8-2-02 says that his Church will not participate. He also says that no election was conducted in his Church. This is not correct. Election was held and the names of persons elected have been included in the voters list and no complaint was made to the Tribunal. The complaints of Fr. A.K Verkey, Fr. E. T. John, Secreary, st. Mary’s J. S. O Church, Mr. K. J. J. Geroge, president, M. G. C Association, Mr. M. V. Tami Dionosius and Mr. E. J Joseph are similar. All of them say that no election were held in their Parish chutches and that the decieions that may be taken at that meeting at Parumala will not be biniding on them. It may be pointed out that elections were held in their Parish churches and the names of the elected have been included in the names of the elected have been included in the voters list. No complaint was filed before the Tribunal even though they had opportunity to do so. Hence, no action is called in respect of the 11 complaints addrressed to me.

23. Meeting /Electio at Permala on 20-3-2002; 
I visited the venue of the election/ meeting on 19-3-2002 and inspected all the arragements. Only one entry was provided to prevent entert of unauthorised persons. At the entrance verification of the credentails was made by the personnel posted at the entry. If the voters were posted at the entry. If the voters were accompanied by the vicar of the concerned church, entry was allowed. Otherwise entry was allowed only after obtining their signature and comparing it with the signature on the proxy form. Only in respect of two persons there was some doubt. Their indentity was verififed after comparing their signatures, and then given registration. On entry the voters had to register their names at the places provided, which were arranged Diocesan wise. This wnt on quite smoothly.

24. Entry and registration were closed by 12-30 p.m. No voter turned up thereafter. The ballot boxes were locked in the presence of my assistants at 1-00 p. m. Thereafter the procession of the Bishops started and it reached the venue of the meeting at 1-00 p. m.

25. 2700 seats were provided in the main meeting hall and 1300 seats were arranged under a Shamiana at the adjoining place. Closed circuit television were provided to enable them to see and hear what is happening in the main hall. On the dais seats were provided for the all the Bishops, Sabha secretary and Trustees. I was provided a separate place from where I could watch the entire proceedings.

26. For polling, 40 counters were provided. In each counter provision was made for two persons to cast their votes in secrecy. Polling started at 2. P. M. and was over by 1-00 P. M. Immediately the ballot baoxes were locked and removed to the counting hall. Tables were arranged for counting with to persons on each table. The counting started at 3-15 P. M. Counting and tabulation work was completed by 4-45 P. M. I and my assistants oberved the counting. On the basis of the counting of votes cast, the results were tabulated in the prescribed forms. Colidated the results from all the tables consolidated results of votting was prepared. The results was verified and signed by the Returning officer. I then scrutinised the results and authenticated the same by affixing my signature. On request I read out the result of the election at 5-15 P. M.
3818/

27. The total number of members of the association is 3818. The total number of votes polled is 3483. Of them 3464 cast their votes in favour of Moran Mar Baselions 11, as the Malankara Metropolitan of the Orthodox Syrian Church. Only ten votes were found to the invalid. The consolidated by me is Annexure-35 The file Annexure-36 contains information about arrangements of Registration Counter, Polling booths, staff assigned for different items of works, the supervisory care committee, copy of the notice of the meeting/election, specimen of ballot paper, forms prescribed for consolidated election result. Elaborate and satisfactory arrangements were made for the conduct of the election / meeting. The staff assigned to perform different. election duties discharged their functions diligently without giving any scope for compliants or doubts. The voting was very orderly and peaceful. None had any grievence at any stage of the election. My assistants who were on the move all the time abserving everthing carefully reported to me that every stage of the election was conducted fairly and satisfactorily.

28. As there were two factions in some Parishes with a view not to deny participation to members of either faction, I had advised by my proceeding dated 20-12-2001 that both the factions may be allowed to elect their representatives. Annexure-37 contains the list of such 25 Parishes and the number of voters. Both the factions had elected their representatibves. I adopted this equitable device to achieve peace and harmony. Having regard to the number of voters form these Parishes and the total number of votes cast in favour of the appellant it is obvious that giving of representation to both the factions can not materially affect the result of the election.

29. Enormous effort and expenditure was involved in conducting this election/meeting. Voters came from foreign countries such as USA; Canada, U. K., some european countries, Gulf countries, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia at great expenses. Several voters came from different states in India. All this involved considerable expenditure for travelling etc. The appellant has gives in his final Report No. 6 Annexure-38 dated -3-2002 an estimate of the total expenses incurred by the voters and the appellant at Rs. 2,60,00,000 /- t Annexure-9. Though detailed particulars have not been furnished it is obvious that the total amount spent by all is quite huge apary from the time and energy of hundreds of people engaged in the election work.
UNFORTUNATE

30. It is unfortunate that the respondent and others belonging to the patriarch faction did not participate. It was announced in the papers that they have decided to boycott the election. The newspapaers reported about the respondent and his supporters holding a meeting on the same day at another place. The respondent being a party to the consent order passed by the supreme Court was expected to partcipate and cooperate in implementing the order of the supreme Court. The conduct of the Respondent invites adverse inference against him.

31. Election to the Managing Committee: Election to the Managing committee is regu;ated by part 5 of the election rules. Where the Association fixes the total number of members of the Managing Committee. All the Dioceses were invited to nominate to be held at the Association meeting. For this purpose the meeting of the Association namelt of all the representatives elected form the Parish Churches of the Diocese was convened at parumala on 20-3-2002. The number of nominations received in repest of ecah Dioccesses was equal to the number of members to be elected from each Diocese. None had complained about the validity of the nominations received. Therefore all the candidates were elected unopppsed from all the Dioceses. At the meeting held on 20-3-2002 the names; of the elected members of the Managing Committeee were read out. This consisted of 37 priests and 74m Laymen whose names are furnished Diocesewise in Annexure-38. I am satisfied that the election to the Managing Committee was proper. The report furnished by the appellant in this behalf is Annexure-40

32. My findings are as follows :-
A. Free and fair elections were held to the Malankara Association to elect representatives from all the Parish Churches, following the past practice and procceding. Only 45 complaints were received of whom 8 were allowed by yhe Tribunal.
B. Final list of voters / member was correctly prepared and published following the prescribed pricedure.
C. The meeting of the Malankara Association was convened at Parumala on 20.03.02 efficiently and in a free and fair manner.
D. Secret Voting was held to decide whether Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews-11 is or not the Malankara Metropolitan. It was decided by overwhelming majority of 3464 against 9, that Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Matews 11 is the Malankara Metropolitan. The decision was free and fair. The result was correct and was authenticated by me before it was announced.
E. Election tot the Managing Committee was also held at the same meeting. As the number of Candidates equalled the number of positions all the nominated candidates were declared elected unopposed.
F. The directions of the Supreme Court given on 28.11.01 have been faithfully and correctly carried out in the matter of conducting the election and satisfactory excution of the decree, within the prescribed time.

33. Re: Fees & Expenses of the Observer: For the discharge of responsibilites as observer, I made two visits to Kerala. The first visit was to Kottayam, A district place located about 100 kms. From cochin airport. This visit was made to hear all the parties to asvise on the election preparations and programmes. I flew from Bangalore to Cochin and travelled by car to Kottayam. On this occasion I had to stay for two days.

34. The election / meeting was held at Parumala, a small place located about 140 kms, away from Cochin Airport. I travelled by air from Bangalore to Cochin and by car from Cochin to Parumala. I stayed for two days at Thiruvilla it being the nearest place where some reasonable accommodation is available. afor carrying out the work assigned to me by the Supreme Court. I had to spend some time every day at Bangalore. Computing the total time I spent in Bangalore in terms of full working days it may work out to about two weeks. Added to this is four days I spent in Kerala.

35. I had taken the assistance of two officials and a peon from the High Court. I paid for all their expenses. The travel and all other expenses in connection with my two trips to kottayam and Parumala may approximately be Rs. 35,000 /-. The approximate expenditure towards faxes, phone calls, courier, postage and secretarial assistance may b

e Rs. 35.000 /- Thus the total expenses may be taken as Rs. 70.000 /-. The Registrar of the Supreme Court has sent me Rs. 1,00,000 /- as advance towards my fees and expenses. Now that I have completed my assignment as Observer, the Supreme Court may kindly pass such order as it deems proper regarding fees and expenses.
The Registrar is requested to place this report before their Lordships for their kind consideration.

Bangalore
10. 04. 2002

JUSTICE V. S. MALIMATH
OBSERVER