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

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with folded hands
news Court Monday, December 13, 2021 - 15:05

The Kerala High Court on Monday, December 13, questioned the validity of a plea seeking the removal of the Prime Minister’s photograph from the COVID-19 vaccine certificate, asking why the petitioner should be ‘ashamed’ of the PM’s photo and told the petitioner that he was ‘wasting judicial time’. According to a report by Live Law, the High Court observed that there are Universities named after Jawaharlal Nehru, but the petitioner has not contested that. 

The High Court was hearing a plea by Peter Myliaparampil, a Congress worker in Kaduthuruthy and a state coordinator of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, who had said that the PM's photo on his vaccination certificate is a violation of his fundamental rights.

“He is our Prime Minister, not the Prime Minister of any other country. He came to power through our mandate. Merely because you have political differences, you cannot challenge this,” the High Court remarked, reported Live Law. 

Advocate Ajit Joy, appearing for the petitioner, submitted to the court that the publication of the Prime Minister’s photo on everything related to vaccination influences the mind of the voters. The counsel also said that whether one should be proud of the Prime Minister or not is a personal choice.

The court then said that it will go through the petitioner’s plea and will hear the matter further if there is any merit in the case, and if not, the petition will be disposed of. Interestingly, the Bombay High Court too is hearing a case seeking the removal of the Prime Minister’s photo, and has issued notice to the Union government. 

Earlier, 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.

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