Sr Lucy Gets Some Relief As High Court Decides Not To Order Her To Leave The Convent But Denies Her Police Protection

Sr Lucy Kalappura
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Sr Lucy Kalappura (Photo/newindianexpress)

Highlights

  • The Kerala High Court ruled that Sr Lucy Kalappura's stay in the Franciscan Clarist Convent in Karakkamala, Wayanad, could not be extended due to a lack of police protection.
  • The court stated that if the petitioner stayed somewhere other than the convent and files a complaint citing a threat to her life, the police should provide necessary security after verifying the validity of her plea.

On Thursday, the Kerala High Court ruled that Sr Lucy Kalappura's stay in the Franciscan Clarist Convent in Karakkamala, Wayanad, could not be extended due to a lack of police protection. Sr Lucy was about to be expelled from the convent after the Supremum Tribunal of Signature Apostolicae upheld the convent's decision to expel her.

While dismissing Sr Lucy's appeal for police protection, Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan made it clear that the court could not order her to leave the convent. The court stated that if the petitioner stayed somewhere other than the convent and files a complaint citing a threat to her life, the police should provide necessary security after verifying the validity of her plea.

Sr Lucy petitioned the court for an order prohibiting the convent officials from interfering with peaceful life and complete access to all common areas within the convent. She also attempted to supply food and drink in order to stay alive. The petitioner also went to the Civil Court (Mananthavady Munsiff court) to stop the convent from evicting her.

The Munsiff court is still considering the initial suit filed in 2019, and on December 18, 2019, it issued an interim order prohibiting the convent officials from forcibly evicting Sr Lucy from the premises until January 1, 2020. The interim injunction was prolonged, Lucy claimed, due to a variety of issues, including the Munsiff court's limited functioning during the pandemic.

The high court stated that as the dispute is before the Munsiff court, it would be improper for this court to make a decision on Sr Lucy's right to live at the convent as she requested or to force the convent's authority to expel her.

In the interests of justice, he believes it would be desirable for the Munsiff to hear the application and make a judgment quickly. If either party files a petition within one week of the High Court's decision, the application will be heard and decided within three weeks. The court stated, The parties shall be bound by the order of the Munsiff.

Sr Lucy Kalappura, who appeared as a party-in-person, had asked the court not to toss her out onto the streets and to allow her to stay in the convent until the Munsiff court rules on her complaint. Sr Lucy, according to the convent's Mother Superior, has no legal right to remain a member of the congregation, which has been terminated by Vatican decree.

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