Kerala HC tells Centre to reply on plea for removing PM Modi’s photo from COVID-19 vaccine certificate


An RTI activist said in a petition that his COVID-19 vaccination certificate was his “private place” and his personal details were on record and, therefore, it was “inappropriate” to intrude on the privacy of an individual.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the central government seeking its response on a plea seeking removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture from the COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

RTI (right to information) activist Peter Myliparampil had earlier filed a petition in the High Court contending that he had paid for both the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that he had received from a non-government hospital. The certificate was his “private space” along with his personal details and, therefore, it was “inappropriate” to intrude on an individual’s privacy, he said.

The court has directed the Center to file its reply before the date of the next hearing.

The activist in the petition also said that his COVID-19 vaccination had a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with a message in Malayalam that translates to: “Medicine and strict controls, together India will defeat COVID-19.”

He further claimed that his concern was that the nationwide campaign COVID-19 vaccination campaign was being used as a media campaign for the Prime Minister, who was determined to get the certificate and without the photograph, for the vaccine certificate. Addressed a representation to the Central Government.

The petitioner further claimed that pasting PM Modi’s picture on the COVID-19 vaccination certificate, especially when he had paid for the vaccination, was a violation of his fundamental rights as he could be treated as a captive spectator.

He also said that it is against his “right to free speech” protected by Article 19 of the Constitution of India against compulsory and forced hearing.

The petitioner also claimed that the photograph of PM Modi on the COVID-19 vaccination certificate affects his free choice of voting.

First Published:November 23, 2021, 5:37 pm

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