New Delhi, Jan 19: Denouncing the order passed by Church-run canonical courts the Supreme Court has rejected the PIL seeking legal sanction to divorces granted to Catholic Christians.
The apex court under the bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and DY Chandrachud said that only the family courts and regular appellate courts had the jurisdiction to issue decrees in such matters. He two judge bench also marked that the case devoid of merit cannot stand.
Earlier Clarence Pais the, 87-year-old petitioner, had appealed before the court for the green single to recognise divorces granted by churches where Marriage Act allowed solemnisation of marriages under the Canon Law but does not have the provision to recognise the divorces. He had filed the PIL in 2013 on which the apex court had sought the Centre’s views.
He further argued that thousands of Catholics across the country were facing prosecution for committing bigamy despite the divorce obtained from the church. Even the Christian priests who granted such divorces could be prosecuted in such cases as under the present laws Christian marriages could be dissolved only by regular courts under the Christian Marriage Act he stated.