Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Police asked not to interfere in the civil rights of a pastor in Tamil Nadu

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tirunelveli police not to interfere with the civil rights of a pastor who moved the court seeking to restrain the police from questioning members of a church in the name of enquiry.

Justice P. Rajamanickam directed that civil rights should not be interfered with and no questioning be conducted in the name of enquiry.

The petitioner, Soundarapandian, a pastor at the Church of South India (CSI) church in Athisiyapuram, Palayamkottai, said a prayer hall was constructed in 2017 with permission from the Executive Officer of the panchayat. Prayers were held on Fridays and Sundays without causing any hindrance to the public, he said.

However, a few villagers had complained to the V. K. Pudur police that prayers were being held without permission. Following the complaint, the police had been visiting the church in the name of enquiry and questioning its members, he complained.

The petitioner said his freedom of conscience, free profession, practice and propagation of religion guaranteed under the Constitution were affected and sought to restrain the police from conducting such enquiries at the prayer hall.

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