The Kerala High Court dismissed a plea demanding removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph from COVID-19 vaccination certificates, by terming the petition as "frivolous", being "politically motivated" and a "publicity interest litigation". The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioner.
Justice P V Kunhikrishnan directed the petitioner, Peter Myaliparampil, to deposit the cost in favour of the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KeLSA) within six weeks.
The court has authorized the KeLSA to recover the fine from his assets through a revenue recovery, if the petitioner fails to deposit the cost within the stipulated period.
“It said the cost was being imposed to let people and the society know that frivolous pleas like this which waste judicial time will not be entertained by the court.”
The court also said that the "frivolous contentions" by the petitioner objecting to the PM's photo and his "morale boosting message" on the vaccination certificate, was "not expected from a citizen of the country".
It also said that when there are thousands of criminal appeals, bail pleas, civil suits and matrimonial cases pending in the courts, frivolous petitions like the instant one waste judicial time.
Previously, the Kerala High Court had reprimanded the petitioner and asked, "why are you ashamed of our Prime Minister?"
Single Bench of PV Kunhikrishnan had 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."