Kerala HC division bench dismisses plea against its order on PM's photo in COVID jab certificates

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal filed against its earlier order dismissing a plea seeking removal of the Prime Minister's photo from the COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, said the photo of the PM cannot be considered as an advertisement.

The court also said that the Prime Minister has every right to give out a message on vaccination.

A Single Bench of the High Court had on December 21, last year dismissed the petition, filed by one Peter Myaliparampil, with a cost of Rs one lakh, saying it was "frivolous", filed with "ulterior motives", "publicity oriented" and the petitioner probably also had a "political agenda". Peter had challenged the verdict.

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.

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

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