A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal preferred by an RTI Activist against the decision of a single-judge who had dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph from the Covid-19 vaccination certificate [Peter Myaliparampil v State of Kerala]..On December 21, 2021, a single-judge of the High Court had dismissed the petition and imposed costs of ₹1 lakh on the petitioner, one Peter Myaliparampil..A Division Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly heard the appeal against the same today and dismissed it. The Court agreed with the single-judge that a photograph of the Prime Minster is not an advertisement and that the PM has the right to give a message, even through the vaccine certificate."It is the Prime Minster's message not an advertisement," the Bench opined.The Bench informed the petitioner that a detailed judgement would be uploaded later. The Bench did not confirm whether it would ultimately choose to confirm the costs imposed by the single-judge. .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..The single-judge had questioned the petitioner on his motivation behind objecting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph being affixed to the Covid vaccine certificates and dismissed the same soon after. .The appeal challenged the judgement issued by the single-judge, especially the assertion that the appellant has raised "frivolous" and “fantastic arguments" in a "publicity oriented litigation"."Several legal and constitutional grounds were taken up in the writ petition and argued in Court. The Constitutional grounds involving violation of the Art 19 (1) (a), violation of the Liberty of ‘thought’ in the Preamble and the concept of Freedom to Vote, were agitated before the Court below. The precedent of the Hon’ble Supreme Court on campaigns projecting individuals through state expenditure was argued", the appeal pointed out. .At today's hearing, the Division Bench reiterated the single-judge's view that the Prime Minister has assumed office pursuant to the mandate of the citizens and once a person is appointed to the office, he ceases to be the leader of a party and is simply, the Prime Minister of India.The Bench further opined that the message from the PM on the certificate may not be construed as an advertisement as there must be some benefit accrued from it for it to qualify as such.It also rejected the argument that the same may affect the petitioner's right to vote. However, the Court said that it would consider and answer the contentions raised by the petitioner as to the violation of fundamental rights in a detailed order that is likely to be passed later.