Kochi (Kerala): The Kerala High Court on Monday reprimanded a petitioner, challenging the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi affixed on the COVID-19 vaccination certificates, for wasting judicial time, asking “why are you ashamed of our Prime Minister?”
The bench said that the petitioner is wasting judicial time and if it doesn’t find any merit in the petitioner’s contentions, then the court will dispose of the petition. The plea was submitted by an RTI activist Peter Myaliparampil.
Single Bench of PV Kunhikrishnan further said, “he is our Prime Minister, not the Prime Minister of any other country. He came to power through our mandate. Merely because you have political differences, you cannot challenge this. Why are you ashamed of our Prime Minister? 100 crore people don’t seem to have an issue with this so why do you? Everyone has different political opinions. You are wasting judicial time.”
By pointing out that the petitioner was the state-level master coach of the Jawaharlal Nehru Leadership Institute of New Delhi, the court said that “you work at an Institute named after a Prime Minister. Why don’t you ask the university to remove it?”
The bench further said, “I will go through the pleadings of the petitioner and see if there is any merit in the case. If I don’t find any merit in his contentions, then I’ll dispose of it.”
The petition reads that, “Petitioner had received the paid COVID-19 vaccination from a private hospital and thereafter received a vaccination certificate. The certificate had the Prime Minister’s colour photograph and the message: “medicine and strict controls (in Malayalam), together India will defeat COVID-19 (in English)” with attribution to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
“The national campaign against COVID-19 is being converted into a media campaign for the Prime Minister. The petitioner also addressed a representation to the Central government for a vaccine certificate without the PM’s photograph but did not receive any response,” the petition further read.
“Government messaging and campaigns, especially when it uses government funds, should not personify any leader of the political party. This affects the petitioner’s independent choice of voting, which has been recognized as the essence of the electoral system in People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs Union of India,” it added.
“Moreover, according to the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for campaigns using public money in Common Cause vs Union of India, no individual can be credited for the launch of an initiative or be celebrated for achievements of a certain policy of the State on government expense,” the petition read.