Rs 1 lakh fine on plea to remove PM's photo from vaccination certificate
New Delhi : The court on Tuesday rejected a petition to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photo from COVID-19 vaccination certificates and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh. The Kerala High Court termed the case "frivolous", "politically motivated" and a "publicity interest litigation".
"Nobody can say that a Prime Minister is a Congress Prime Minister or a BJP Prime Minister or the Prime Minister of any political party. But once a Prime Minister is elected as per the constitution, he is the Prime Minister of our country and that post should be the pride of every citizen," Justice PV Kunhikrishnan said, according to news agency PTI.
"...They can differ on the policies of the government and even the political stand of the Prime Minister. But the citizens need not be ashamed to carry a vaccination certificate with the photograph of the Prime Minister with a morale boosting message, especially in this pandemic situation," PTI quoted the judge as saying.
The petitioner has been fined with Rs 1 lakh which needs to be submitted within six weeks to the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KeLSA). If he fails to deposit the amount then the recovery will be done by selling off his assets, the court said.
"There seems to be a political motive behind the petition. It is not a significant petition... The motive behind the petition is not about public good, but for publicity," the court said.
"When serious cases are piling up in court, cannot encourage such unnecessary petitions," it added.
The petition was filed by Right to Information (RTI) activist Peter Myaliparampil.