Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday questioned what was wrong with Covid-19 vaccination certificates bearing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph when he was elected to power by the people of the country.
In determining the viability of a petition to have the Prime Minister’s picture removed from the certificate, Justice PV Kunhikrishnan asked the petitioner if he was ashamed of the Prime Minister.
The judge ruled that because the Prime Minister was elected by the people of the country, there was nothing wrong with having his photograph on the certificate.
When the petitioner’s counsel told the court that such a practise did not exist in other countries, the judge remarked orally, “They may not be proud of their PMs, but we are proud of our PM.”
“Why are you (the petitioner) embarrassed by the Prime Minister? He ascended to power through popular vote… We may hold opposing political views, but he is still our Prime Minister “The court went on to say.
The petitioner’s counsel, Peter Myaliparampil, stated that the certificate was a private space with personal details on record and that it was therefore inappropriate to intrude into an individual’s privacy.
He claimed that including the Prime Minister’s photo on the certificate was an invasion of an individual’s privacy.
In response, the court stated that more than 100 crore people in the country do not appear to have a problem with the Prime Minister’s photo being on the certificate, and asked the petitioner, “Why do you?”
The court stated that it would consider whether the plea had merit, and if not, it would dismiss the case.
During the more-than-an-hour-long hearing, advocate Ajit Joy, who represented the petitioner, stated that whether or not to be proud of one’s Prime Minister was a personal choice.
In addition, Joy told the court that it was not a matter of political differences because the Supreme Court has established guidelines for advertisements and campaigns that use public funds.
The Central Government objected to the petition, claiming that it was a case of public interest.
In his petition, the petitioner, a senior citizen, claimed that the Prime Minister’s photo on his vaccination certificate violated his fundamental rights.