The Kerala High Court last week instructed judges and other judicial officers in the Thrissur district not to participate in the annual Kodathi Vilakku (court lamp) celebration at the Guruvayoor Temple. A committee comprised of members of the Chavakkad Munsiff Court Bar Association, among others, organises Kodathi vilakku.
On the recommendation of the judge-in-charge of the Thrissur District, Justice AK Jayasanharan Nambiar, the Court issued administrative directions advising judicial officers to refrain from actively participating in the event, emphasising that the Court is a secular institution that should not be seen participating in any event that appears to promote any particular religion.
The memo requested that the Principal District Judge, Thrissur, notify all judicial officers in the Thrissur judicial district that they are encouraged not to actively participate in the event’s organisation, either by agreeing to serve on the organising committee or in any other way.
“They should not feel coerced or obligated to attend the event,” the message stated.
The Court also objected to the event’s name, Kodathi Vilakku, because it could be misleading.
“The fact that judicial officers of all ranks, including those of other religions, feel compelled/obligated to attend the annual event, which is invariably attended by the High Court Judges as well, demonstrates the extent to which the term “Kodathi Vilakku” can be applied to judicial officers of all ranks.” It, therefore, stated that steps are being explored to prevent the organisers of event from using the name Kodathi Vilakku for its annual event.