The Kerala High Court was hearing a senior citizen’s plea who contended that the PM's photo on his vaccination certificate is a violation of fundamental rights.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering a speechImage for representation: PTI
news Vaccine Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 16:08

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, November 23, sought the responses of the Union government and the state government to a plea seeking removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph from the COVID-19 vaccination certificate. "Admitted," Justice N Nagaresh said and issued notice to the Union government and the Kerala government seeking their stand on the petition by a senior citizen who has contended that the PM's photo on his vaccination certificate was a violation of fundamental rights. The court directed the Union government and the state to file their reply affidavits before the next date of hearing.

In the previous hearing, the Kerala High Court had remarked that it was a “very dangerous proposition,” to ask for the removal of the Prime Minister’s photograph from the COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Justice N Nagaresh had then remarked orally that someone else can come tomorrow and say that they don't like Mahatma Gandhi and want his photograph removed from the currency notes. At the time, appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Ajit Joy had responded that the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi was printed on currency as per RBI regulations, while there was no statutory provision to put the PM’s photograph on vaccination certificates.

In his plea filed in the Kerala High Court, petitioner Peter Myliaparampil, a Congress worker in Kaduthuruthy and a state coordinator of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, had said that the Prime Minister’s photograph has no relevance in such a certificate. “Any additional messaging or motivation in a certificate is irrelevant as the recipient of the certificate is already convinced of its utility and has taken the vaccination voluntarily. Further messaging in a certificate is no more than ‘preaching to the converted’,” Peter’s petition had said.

"I was vaccinated at a private hospital by paying money for it at a time when the government was not able to provide everyone with a free vaccine. The government is doing the vaccination drive using public money. In the past too, the country had done vaccination to eradicate many diseases. It's inappropriate in a democracy t o put the Prime Minister’s photo on the vaccination certificate," Peter had earlier told TNM.

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