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Kerala HC rejects plea seeking removal of PM's photo from vaccination certificate
 
Thiruvananthapuram, The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking to discard the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Covid-19 vaccination certificate, issued to vaccinated people and termed the plea as "frivolous."

A single judge bench of Justice P V Kunhikrishnan, while dismissing the petition filed by Peter Myaliparampil, a 62-year-old RTI activist and State Coordinators of the National Campaign for the Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI), slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on him for filing the "frivolous petition."
The petitioner, Peter, had in his plea before the Kerala High Court sought to declare that affixing the photograph of the Prime Minister in the COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate of the petitioner is an infringement of his fundamental right.

"Issue appropriate direction to the 1st respondent (Union of India) to issue the petitioner a COVID-19 vaccination certificate without the photograph of the Prime Minister in it, along with access to the COWIN platform, to generate such a certificate when needed," the petitioner said.

"When these types of frivolous contentions are raised by the petitioner, he should know the effect and the society also should know that if frivolous petitions are filed, the Court will not accept the same. Thousands of convicted persons in criminal cases are in jail in our country waiting for hearing their appeals. Thousands of people are waiting for a result in their matrimonial disputes. Thousands of people are waiting for the result in their property disputes. In such a situation, this Court has to consider those litigations as early as possible and this Court is doing that every day," the Kerala High Court's order said.

The order further said that in such a situation, when frivolous petitions are filed, that should be dismissed with a heavy cost. "There can be a direction to the petitioner to pay the cost within six weeks from today and the cost should be paid to the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KELSA) which is doing a great job in the state of Kerala by helping the poor genuine litigants. If the amount is not paid by the petitioner, the KELSA should recover the same from the assets of the petitioner by taking appropriate steps through revenue recovery.

Peter, in his petition, also said that the National Campaign against COVID-19 is being converted into a media campaign for the Prime Minister. The presence of the photograph of the Prime Minister in COVID-19 related campaigns and messaging in public places including Railway Stations, Airports, Post Offices, Banks along with the same messages in public websites and social media handles of Government entities, all with photograph and name of Prime Minister seems to him to be designed not for a health campaign.
Peter also said that it is an effort to show the campaign as a one man show, propaganda to project an individual at State expenses.

The petitioner claimed that he is one of the State Coordinators of the NCPRI. The petitioner also claimed that he is an extension faculty of Kerala Institute of Local Administration and State Level master coach of the Jawaharlal Nehru Leadership Institute, New Delhi.

He also said that he was desirous of taking a vaccination against the Covid 19 pandemic. Since the Government of Kerala came out with a Government Order prohibiting non-vaccinated persons from visiting public places, the petitioner decided to get vaccination immediately.


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