The Kerala High Court on Wednesday said police protection against eviction cannot be provided to Sister Lucy Kalappura, who has been expelled from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), at the convent where she is presently staying. It said her life and property can be protected by the police at any other place of residence, but not at the convent.
Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan said the order of police protection granted last year by the high court cannot continue any longer if she intends to continue at the convent. He said if she continues to stay at the convent, which has made allegations of indiscipline against her, the conflicts with the staff or authorities there will also continue.
The nun, who argued her case in person, told the court that she has challenged the order of eviction against her before a civil court and till that is decided she wishes to continue staying at the convent. She said the court may withdraw the police protection granted to her, but she should be allowed to stay at the convent as she has no other place to go to.
Sister Lucy said while she had the police protection she had confidence to venture out and whenever there was any conflict with the convent authorities, like the kitchen or dining area being closed for her, police came to her aid. The court, however, said the only plea before it was for police protection and it was willing to grant the same as long as she is not staying at the convent.
The convent, during the brief hearing, alleged that there is a discipline to be followed in a nunnery and the sister was not following the same. It further claimed that she returned to the convent at varying hours in the night which was not permissible.
It also informed the high court that the civil court's order granting her protection from arrest has expired and is no longer in force. In June, the Vatican had rejected the third appeal of Sister Lucy Kalappura against the decision of FCC to expel her for "failing" to provide explanation for her lifestyle, which allegedly violated church rules.
Kalappura, who took part in a protest by nunsbelonging to Missionaries of Jesus Congregation seeking thearrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, was expelled by the FCC under the Roman Catholic Church in August2019. The congregation, in its notice, had termed as "grave violations" Sister Lucy possessing a driving licence, buying a car, taking a loan for it and publishing a book and spending money without the permission and knowledge of her superiorsand the Vatican had ratified the decision.
The nun, however, had denied the charges levelled against her by the congregation, saying many of them were a"deliberate attempt to paint her in bad light." .