Kochi: A plea has been filed in the High Court of Kerala seeking to remove the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Covid-19 vaccination proof certificates issued to citizens. The plea was filed by Peter Myliaparambil, 62, a Congress worker from Kottayam whose plea deems the photograph as 'unnecessary' and a 'violation' of his fundamental rights.
The petition claims that citizens have the right to not want photographs of government officials on their private documents and that putting the photograph of the PM on a document to show proof of vaccination is an intrusion of privacy.
"The photograph of the Hon'ble Prime Minister has no relevance in such a certificate as can be seen from such certificates issued by other countries. Any additional messaging or motivation in a certificate is irrelevant as the recipient of the certificate is already convinced of its utility and has taken the vaccination voluntarily. Further messaging in a certificate is no more than 'preaching to the converted,'" states the petition.
In addition to this, Peter pointed out that no significant harm would come from removing the photo as no other countries had put a photo of their leader on similar certificates. The Kerala HC has sent a notice to the Union Government seeking the COVID-19 certificate without PM Modi's photo on it.
It has also been reported that Indians had faced troubles in other countries as immigration officials suspected the certificate was fake due to the presence of such a photo.
While speaking to the media, Peter had claimed that the government was using public money to fund their vaccination drives while he was forced to take the vaccine at a higher cost at a time when no free vaccines were made available. This made the photo of the PM on the certificate unjustified, he claimed.
In August, the Union Government had justified the use of the PM's photo and words in the certificate as a necessary reinforcement to remind the recipient to follow Covid-19 precautions even after vaccination.