HC dismisses plea to restrain Patriarch

A plea seeking for a direction to ensure that Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Zaka Iwas, did not indulge in religious activities during his visit to the state was rejected by Kerala High Court on Monday.

Dismissing a writ petition filed by one Bose Abraham and two others, a Division Bench comprising of Justice K A Abdul Gafoor and Justice A K Basheer held that if there was any violation of provisions contained in Foreigners Act 1946 or Visa manuel, it was for the Government to do the needful.

The petitioners said that since the Patriarch was visiting India on a tourist visa, he should not conduct religious ceremonies, as stipulated in a Central Government notification. If the provision was violated, action could be taken under Sect 14 of the Foreigners Act, the petitioner pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Patriarch, the supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church reached here on Monday on a seven-day visit.