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PM’s photo on Covid-19 vaccination certificate: Kerala HC calls for Govt views after petitioner seeks to know why

Kerala HC acts on plea that states that the vaccine certificate violates the fundamental rights of a citizen. The petitioner also sought the court’s help to get a certificate without the PM’s photo.

A petition, contesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture in Covid-19 vaccination certificates, which was filed in the Kerala High Court, has assumed a significant legal turn.

The Kerala High Court has shot off a notice to the Union Government on the petition that sought a Covid-19 certificate without Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo on it.

It all began when a person named M Peter, hailing from Kottayam in Central Kerala, filed a plea stating that the vaccine certificate that is being distributed to Indian citizens violates the fundamental rights of a citizen. He also sought the High Court’s help to enable him to get a certificate without the photo of the Prime Minister.

Submit views in 2 weeks, Kerala HC tells Union and State Govts

Justice PB Suresh Kumar of the Kerala High Court has directed the Union Government at the Centre and also the State Government to file their views on this in a matter of two weeks.

As per the petitioner, the photo of the Prime Minister on the vaccination certificate needlessly intrudes into his private space. He also argued that the Union government or the Prime Minister have done only their duty and not anything extraordinary to the extent that the PM’s picture should be printed on the certificate.

Accusing the Union government of converting the fight against the Covid pandemic into a public relations and media exercise, the petitioner said the photo of the PM on the vaccination certificate gives the impression that the whole covid control efforts is a one-man show.

Petitioner says he has right to get a certificate without PM’s photo

He also added that he had all the right to get a vaccination certificate without the photo of the PM.

Along with the petition, Peter had also submitted samples of vaccination certificates given out by countries such as the US, Indonesia, Israel and Germany. He said he did this to bring home the point that all these vaccination certificates contained necessary information, but not photos of their government heads.

Peter is a frequent traveller and when he carries his vaccination certificate, the photo of the Prime Minister doesn’t have any relevance or utility, a report added. He also said that people can carry vaccination certificates without any photo if the government is firm.

It may be recalled that the Union government had some time back justified the Prime Minister’s photo on the vaccination certificates saying that the image and words of the PM would help in creating general awareness and Covid-appropriate behaviour.

Now that the Kerala High Court has sought the views of the governments, it remains to be seen if the Prime Minister’s men have a convincing answer to tell the court.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The New Indian Express, MSN India, PanAsiaBiz. Sanjeev can be reached at [email protected]
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