Kerala HC Admits Plea By Christian Sect Seeking Declaration Of Right Of 'Self Service'
The Kerala High Court has admitted and issued notice on a Writ Petition filed by the President of South India Union of Churches (SIUC), Bishop Dr. Darmaraj Rasalam and the Medical Mission of the South Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India seeking a declaration that "the right of self-service is a fundamental freedom guaranteed under the Constitution of India".
Justice N. Nagaresh today admitted the Writ Petition filed through Advocate B. Vinod, that also seeks a declaration that the right to administer educational institutions under Article 26 of the Constitution of India includes the right to admit students to Medical Educational Institution, from the members of their community and that such right cannot be totally deprived.
As per the Petitioners, the South Kerala Diocese is unable to help its members learn medicine, even though it has established the Dr. Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College at Karakonam, due to "sovereign interference".
The Church of South India (CSI) is a Christian denomination and SIUC is a sect within it, which is recognized as a socially and educationally backward community in the state. As per the Petitioner, even while reserving all the seats in Dr. Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College to the Christian community, the number of SIUC students studying in the college is next to nothing.
"The Management of the institution can, leave open admissions, from open category provided a mechanism is evolved to grand admissions to SIUC Candidates from the list prepared by the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations", the Petition states.
The Petitioners contend that "...80% of the Christian community are forward Christians and SIUC members are made to compete against these forward Christians thereby the principle of equality enshrined in the Article 14 of the Constitution of India is compromised as unequal are classified equally".
It is in this context that the Petitioners are claiming a "right to self-service", which according to the Petitioners is a natural right. "Self-service therefore is a necessary concomitant of being alive, to thrive and to compete", states the Petitioners.
"A person if constructing a house, his family cannot be mandated by any law to accommodate children of strangers alone. Residential place so build cannot be given on a priority basis as per the will of the Government following any rational form of selection", the Petitioners argue in support of the right to self-service.
The Petitioner contends that the duty of the state under Article 38(2) and Article 46 are given a go-by, in not classifying SIUC as a separate class eligible for reservation within the minority, in matters of admissions to medical colleges in management quota.
The Petitioner also states that Christian communities having different culture, social, educational and congressional backgrounds are to be accepted as separate minorities for protecting and propagating their ideological thoughts. "The judicial notice of these beliefs can be taken at any rate matters with respect to distinct minorities are to be done exercised by the minority commission of India", states the Petitioner.
Title: Most Rev. Dr Darmaraj Rasalam & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.