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Why Modi’s picture on the vaccine certificate? Kerala High Court seeks reply from Central Government

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The Kerala High Court has sent a notice to the Central Government regarding the picture of PM Modi on the Corona Vaccine Certificate. The Kerala High Court on Friday sent a notice to the central government seeking its response on a petition seeking a corona vaccination certificate without the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Petitioner M Peter, a resident of Kottayam, argued that the present vaccine certificate violates the fundamental rights of a citizen and sought a certificate without the photograph of the prime minister.

After filing his petition, Justice PB Suresh Kumar directed both the central and state governments to file their views in two weeks. The petitioner also submitted vaccination certificates from various countries including USA, Indonesia, Israel and Germany, stating that they carry all the necessary information on the certificates and not the photographs of the heads of government.

The petitioner, who has traveled to many countries, also submitted that he has to carry the certificate with him at various places and the photograph of the PM in the certificate has no utility or relevance. If the government is firm then people can be given the option to carry the certificate without any photo.

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In the petition filed through Advocate Ajit Joy, he said that the fight against the pandemic has been converted into a public relations and media campaign and it gives an impression that it is a one man show and the entire campaign is to project one person. And that too is being done at the cost of the exchequer. He said that he has every right to take the vaccine certificate without the photo of the PM.

It has been argued in the petition that the photograph in the private space of the petitioner is an unnecessary intrusion. The central government or the PM cannot claim to have done anything special, as it is their duty. Earlier, the central government had defended its decision to include the photograph in the certificate, saying the PM’s image with his words helps in creating general awareness and COVID-appropriate behaviour. When a question came up in the Upper House two months ago, Minister of State for Health BP Pawar said it was ideal to promote awareness.

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