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[PM Modi photo on vaccine certificate] “It is PM’s message, not an ad:” Kerala High Court Division Bench dismisses appeal

The petition, filed through advocate Ajit Joy had challenged the inclusion of the PM’s photo even in the certificates of those who had paid for it, primarily on the ground that the inclusion of the PM’s photo in the private certificate of an individual serves no public purpose or utility.

As a captive audience, the same violates the petitioner’s free speech right, including the right against compelled listening, protected by Article 19 of the Constitution of India, it was contended.

It was also contended that government messaging and campaigns, especially when it uses government funds, should not personify a leader like the PM, as he is the leader of a political party as well.

According to the petitioner, this affects his independent choice of voting, which has been recognised as the essence of the electoral system in Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India.

Source: Barandbench

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