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Kerala HC objects to use of name 'Kodathi Vilakku' for event at Guruvayur Temple, advises Judicial Officers against organizing event

Kerala HC objects to use of name 'Kodathi Vilakku' for event at Guruvayur Temple, advises Judicial Officers against organizing event

Recently, following a referral from the Judge-in-Charge of the Thrissur district, the Kerala High Court issued an official memorandum to the district's judicial officers, requesting that they refrain from actively participating in the annual "Kodathi Vilakku" at the Guruvayur temple.

Noting that an event under the banner of "Kodathi Vilakku" is annually hosted at the Guruvayur temple by an organising committee comprising members of the Chavakkad Munsiff Court Bar Association, the high court administration said that even though there can be no objection to the Bar Association members organising such an event, the use of the name "Kodathi Vilakku" is unacceptable "for it gives the impression that the Courts in our State are in some way connected with the organization of the event."

The court also added "It has come to the notice of the High Court that an event under the banner of 'Kodathi Vilakku' is being hosted annually at the Guruvayur Temple by an organizing committee comprising inter alia of members of the Chavakkad Munsiff Court Bar Association. While there can be no objection to the members of the Bar Association organizing such events, either individually or collectively, the use of the name 'Kodathi Vilakku' is unacceptable for it gives the impression that the courts in our state are in some way connected with the organization of the event."

The order further stated that "As secular democratic institutions under the Constitutions, the courts cannot be seen engaging in activities that promote any particular religion. Accordingly, while steps are being explored to prevent the organisers of the event from using the name 'Kodathi Vilakku' in the future, the judicial officers in Thrissur District are advised not to actively involve themselves in the organising of the event, either by consenting to be a part of the organising committee or in any other manner. They shall also not feel compelled or obligated to attend the event." 

The high court also said that while steps are being explored to prevent the organisers of the event from the use of "Kodathi Vilakku" in future, the Judicial Officers in Thrissur Judicial District are advised, "not to actively involve themselves in the organizing of the said event, either by consenting to be part of the organizing committee or in any other manner."

The judge said that the fact that judicial officers of ranks, including those professing other religions, feel compelled/obliged to attend the annual event that is invariably attended by the Kerala High Court judges as well, indicates the extent to which the term "Kodathi Vilakku" can be misleading.

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