Kerala High Court Calls PM's Photo Removal From Covid Vaccine Certificate Appeal 'Dangerous'

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Nov 3, 2021 06:57 PM +05:30 IST
Kerala High Court Calls PM's Photo Removal From Covid Vaccine Certificate Appeal 'Dangerous'Kerala High Court
Snapshot
  • The Kerala High Court observed that removing PM Modi's picture from the Covid-19 immunisation certificate "is a very dangerous proposition."

    For the next hearing, the High Court is scheduled for 23 November.

The Kerala High Court has ruled that removing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's picture from the Covid-19 immunisation certificate is a highly risky concept.

When the petition filed by Peter Mayaliparambil, Kottayam, against the depiction of PM's photo on the certificate came up for hearing, Justice N Nagaresh made the observation.

As reported, Justice N Nagaresh said: "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 the 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?"

The petitioner's lawyer, Ajit Joy, responded by saying that while Mahatma Gandhi's face was printed on currency notes following Reserve Bank of India standards, the prime minister's photo was not set on vaccination certificates based on any statutory provision.

The central government's lawyer requested more time to file a statement in the case, and the Court scheduled it for 23 November.

According to the petition, a photograph of the PM on the certificate is useless. It is a certificate that is issued just to confirm a person's immunisation status. As may be observed from other countries' certifications, the Prime Minister's photograph has no bearing on such a certificate.

It was also reported that any further content or motivation in a certificate is useless because the receiver is already convinced of its benefit and has voluntarily received the immunisation. Additional messaging in a certificate is nothing more than "preaching to the converted", the petition noted.

Additionally, the report stated that the petitioner, in this case, has already paid for his vaccination and there was no government subsidy or largesse in providing the immunisation.

As stated in the appeal, the petitioner chose paid immunisation over free vaccine slots due to a lack of free vaccine slots. The government has no authority to claim the credit by including an image of the PM in the certificate handed to a paid vaccine recipient.

Meanwhile, another Kerala High Court bench said on 2 November that the Centre's vaccination scheme has resulted in the creation of two classes of citizens: those who received Covaxin and those who received Covishield.

While those who received Bharat Biotech’s jab are restricted in their movement, those who received Covishield are free to go wherever they want, the court noted while hearing the case of a man who had received Covaxin and is now seeking an order to get a third shot of a globally approved vaccine so that he can work in Saudi Arabia.

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