The Kerala High Court on Tuesday discouraged a plea challenging the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi being affixed on the vaccination certificates issued to the citizens upon being vaccinated against Covid-19.
The petitioner’s main allegation was that a vaccination certificate was his private space and he has certain rights over it.
Justice N. Nagaresh while pondering over the larger implications of allowing the plea, orally remarked:
“This is a very dangerous proposition. Tomorrow someone can come here and protest that they don’t like Mahatma Gandhi, and seek the removal of his image from our currency saying it’s their blood and sweat and they don’t want to see his face on it. What will happen then?”
Advocate Ajit Joy responded that the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi was printed on currency as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Regulations, while the Prime Minister’s photograph was not affixed based on any statutory provision.
ASG sought more time to file a statement in the matter. Accordingly, the Court posted the case to be taken up on 23rd November.
The petitioner is a senior citizen of India and an RTI activist. He received a paid COVID-19 vaccination from a private hospital. Soon he received his certificate as proof for the vaccination, which bore the photograph of the Prime Minister of India along with a message.
Aggrieved by the same, he moved the Court alleging several Fundamental Right violations.
Accordingly, the petitioner sought a declaration that the photograph of the Prime Minister on the COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate of the petitioner is a violation of his fundamental rights.
Additionally, the petitioner has prayed that he may be issued with a Covid-19 vaccination certificate without the Prime Minister’s photograph affixed on it along with access to the COWIN platform, to generate such a certificate when needed.