THRISSUR: Ignoring the Kerala High Court’s reservations in labelling a temple offering after courts, a group of lawyers raised a banner with ‘Kodathi Vilakku’ printed on it and performed the ritual during the Ekadashi festival at Guruvayur Temple on Sunday.
The order of the HC judge in charge of Thrissur to judicial officers not to get actively involved in the conduct of the event was also thrown to the wind with senior judges actively participating in the ritual.
The cultural programmes held as part of the ritual was inaugurated by Justice P Somarajan of the High Court. State Judicial Officers Association President and District Judge N Seshadrinathan was present at the event attended among others by retired judges Padmanabhan Nair, Jyothindranath and N K Balakrishnan.
“As secular democratic institutions under the Constitution, courts cannot be seen engaging in activities that promote any particular religion. While steps are being explored to prevent the organisers from using the name ‘Kodathi Vilakku’ in future, judicial officers in Thrissur are advised not to actively involve themselves in organising the event,” said an HC order issued on an instruction from Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar on November 1.
The 130-year-old ritual, started by then Chavakkad munsiff Keyi, is now being conducted by the munsiff, magistrates, advocates and their clerks at Chavakkad court.
The offering is booked by the Guruvayur Ekadasi Kodathi Vilakku Committee. As per the documents with the Guruvayur Devaswom, ‘Kodathi Vilakku’ is being booked under the name of Munsif, Chavakkad.
This year’s organisers claimed that they were only continuing a tradition, and, if needed, are ready to change the name of the ritual.
The incident has triggered a debate in legal circles as well as on social media on the political implications of the HC order. Meanwhile, a photo of Justice Jayashankar Nambiar inaugurating the cultural programme as part of the ritual in the past is doing rounds.