PM Modi's picture on COVID vaccination certificates cannot be considered as advertisement, says Kerala HC

The petitioner had contended that the certificate was a private space with personal details on record and therefore, it was inappropriate to intrude into the privacy of an individual

Press Trust of India January 25, 2022 21:27:50 IST
PM Modi's picture on COVID vaccination certificates cannot be considered as advertisement, says Kerala HC

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PIB

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday said the Prime Minister has every right to give a message on COVID-19 vaccination and ruled his photo in the jab certificate cannot be considered as an advertisement.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly dismissed an appeal filed against a single judge order junking a plea seeking removal of the Prime Minister's photo from the COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

The bench said the prime minister's photo cannot be considered as an advertisement, adding, the prime minister has every right to give out a message on vaccination.

A Single Bench of the High Court had on 21 December, last year dismissed the earlier petition, filed by Peter Myaliparampil, saying it was "frivolous", filed with "ulterior motives", "publicity oriented" and the petitioner probably also had a "political agenda". It had imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on the petitioner and he preferred an appeal against the single judge order.

The court had earlier said that in case of failure to deposit the cost within the stipulated period, the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KeLSA) shall recover the amount from his assets by initiating revenue recovery proceedings against him.

It had also said that the "petitioner should study the respect to be given to the prime minister and others by watching at least the parliamentary proceedings, which are available live on national TV".

The petitioner had contended that the certificate was a private space with personal details on record and therefore, it was inappropriate to intrude into the privacy of an individual.

He had contended that adding the prime minister's photo to the certificate was an intrusion into an individual's private space.

Myaliparampil, a senior citizen, had contended in his plea that the Prime Minister's photo on his vaccination certificate was a violation of fundamental rights.

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