The 'Kodathi Vilakku' event of the Guruvayur Temple held on Sunday saw larger than usual participation by lawyers, court staff, clerks and other devotees.

Despite the High Court's Official Memorandum against the use of the name 'Kodathi Vilakku' (Court Lamp), the event was organised under the same name and big banners were exhibited at the Temple premises with that name. The Memorandum was issued based on the instructions of the judge in charge of the Thrissur District, Justice A. K. Jayasankaran Nambiar.

Despite the High Court's diktat to Judicial Officers in Thrissur District not to actively involve themselves in organizing the event in any manner, the event saw participation of Judicial Officers of Thrissur District and other Districts.

The President of the Kerala State Judicial Officers' Association, District Judge Seshadrinathan N. also attended the event as per reports.

The cultural programs organised as part of the event at the auditorium inside the Temple and the lighting of lamps inside the temple were inaugurated by Justice Somarajan P of the Kerala High Court. Justice S. V. Bhatti and Justice N. Nagaresh of the Kerala High Court also visited the Temple during the event.

Retired Judges of the High Court, Justice Padmanabhan Nair, Justice N K Balakrishnan and Justice K P Jyothindranath also attended the event.

Justice Jyothindranath (retired) at the event

The event involves lighting lamps inside and outside the Temple Sanctorum. The expenses for the lighting of lamps and the associated cultural programs at the Melpathur Auditorium inside the temple complex are collected from among lawyers, court staff, advocate clerks and judicial officers from courts in and around Chavakkad and handed over to the Guruvayur Devaswom Board.

Many lawyers, court staff, clerks and judicial officers donate for and participate in the event irrespective of their religion and it has been a custom to do so for over a hundred years.

Lawyers associated with the event have released photographs of Justice A. K. Jayasankaran Nambiar inaugurating the event last year. Justice Nambiar was accompanied by Judicial Officers when he inaugurated the event.

"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 official memorandum of the High Court read.

The Memorandum of the High Court against the use of the name "Kodathi Vilakku" invoked sharp criticism from various quarters, including from the President of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association, Advocate Rajesh Vijayan, who mocked the decision through a sarcastic Facebook post.