The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed the plea asking for removal of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s photograph from the COVID vaccination certificates issued via the CoWIN portal [Peter Myaliparampil v Union of India].

The Kerala High Court also imposed costs of ₹1 lakh on the petitioner Peter Myaliparampil stating that the case is “frivolous”, “politically motivated” and a “publicity interest litigation”.

According to my opinion this is a frivolous petition filed with ulterior motives. there seems to be political motives and deserves to be dismissed with heavy cost. Plea dismissed with costs of ₹1 lakh. I know this is a heavy cost but we must prevent such frivolous petitions,” Justice PV Kunhikrishnan said, according to legal news portal Bar and Bench.

Nobody can say that a Prime Minister is a Congress Prime Minister or a BJP Prime Minister or the Prime Minister of any political party. But once a Prime Minister is elected as per the constitution, he is the Prime Minister of our country and that post should be the pride of every citizen,” Justice PV Kunhikrishnan said, according to news agency PTI.

“...They can differ on the policies of the government and even the political stand of the Prime Minister. But the citizens need not be ashamed to carry a vaccination certificate with the photograph of the Prime Minister with a morale boosting message, especially in this pandemic situation,” PTI quoted the judge as saying.

The costs have to be paid to Kerala State Legal Services Authority within a period of 6 weeks and if he fails to deposit the fine in time, KeLSA shall recover the amount by selling off his assets, the court said.

“When serious cases are piling up in court, cannot encourage such unnecessary petitions,” the court remarked.

Image taken from Bar and Bench.

The petitioner in his plea had said that to have PM Modi’s picture on the certificate when people had to pay for the vaccines at private hospitals, was a violation of fundamental rights, but the court did find no fault with COVID-19 vaccination certificates carrying the photograph of the Prime Minister.

“Why are you ashamed of the Prime Minister? He came to power through the mandate of the people…we may have different political views, but he is still our PM. They may not be proud of their PMs, we are proud of our PM,” the Court had earlier remarked during the hearing of the matter on December 13.

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