Prelate gets strong criticism from court

It said religious leaders should restrict themselves to temporal and religious activities.

Posted on September 27, 2012, 5:25 PM

Archbishop Bernard Moras

Bangalore:The Karnataka high court has strongly criticized a prelate for speaking on the issue of land for a church-run leprosy center at a time when the matter is sub judice.

“Has he (Archbishop) become a legal expert? Shall we issue contempt (notice)? The archbishop has no business to speak on the (pending) issue,” said chief justice Vikramjit Sen.

He was speaking on the comments of Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore on the issue of the state government deciding to take back most of the land of the Sumanahalli Society, run by the archdiocese since 1978.

Sen said that religious leaders should restrict themselves to temporal and religious activities.

Senior advocate Raviverma Kumar, appearing for the leprosy center, told the court that the prelate’s statements were only against the state’s decision to limit the extension of lease to 5.23 acres and take back 48.23 acres.

He said the centre is looking after leprosy patients who were once beggars and needs the land in its drive to completely eradicate the dreaded disease.

The chief justice said there is no doubt that the leprosy center is doing a yeoman service.

“I know how these centers receive funds. But there is no dearth of funds. The question is why do you want the land which is someone else’s?” Sen asked.

The bench then directed the government to file a status report on the facilities available at the Beggary Relief Center.

It also asked for a report on the money received by way of beggary cess along with the property tax and its disbursement.

Source: Times of India

Sumanahalli Society , Leprosy Center , Prelate , Karnataka High Court , Archbishop Bernared Moras
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