Why are you ashamed of the PM, Kerala HC asks man who objected to Modi's image on vaccine certificate

"I can close my eyes while watching TV. But my certificate is my private space," submitted the petitioner.

Published: 13th December 2021 02:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2021 04:01 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: What's the problem with affixing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo on the vaccination certificate, the Kerala High Court asked a petitioner who approached the court with the contention that the PM’s photo on his Covid-19 vaccination certificate was a violation of fundamental rights.

"He is our Prime Minister and not the Prime Minister of the US. Modi came to power with the people's mandate and not through any shortcuts," observed Justice PV Kunhikrishnan. 

"Why, you are working with an institution named after former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Why are you not taking a stand to remove the name of Nehru from that institution," the court asked the petitioner who's working as the state-level master coach of the Jawaharlal Nehru Leadership Institute, New Delhi.

"Modi is our Prime Minister. You may have political differences. But, I can't understand what is the problem with the Prime Minister's photo in the certificate?" the court further told the petitioner. The court made the remarks when a petition filed by Peter Mayaliparambil, Kottayam, against depicting PM's photo in the certificate came up for hearing.

The petitioner argued that the photograph of the Prime Minister has no relevance in a vaccination certificate as can be seen from similar certificates issued by other countries.

"The government messaging and campaigns, especially when it uses government funds, should not personify any leader of a political party. This affects the petitioner’s independent choice of voting, which has been recognised as the essence of the electoral system in People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs Union of India," the petitioner argued adding that as per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for campaigns using public money in Common Cause vs Union of India, no individual can be credited for the launch of an initiative or be celebrated for achievements of a certain policy of the state at government expense. 

To this, the court asked, "Why are you ashamed of your Prime Minister? Why are you making such a complaint when around 150 crore people are not raising any voice in this regard?"

The court further asked, "Do you close your eyes when Prime Minister's visuals appear on television." He replied, "I can close my eyes while watching TV. But my certificate is my private space."

The petitioner submitted that he has checked out the certificate issued by several other countries. Not even a single one has the picture of their Prime Minister. The court orally said, "They may not be proud of their Prime Minister. But we are proud of our Prime Minister. Because he became PM through the people's mandate."

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  • Venu P

    The remarks
    9 months ago reply
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