The Indian Association of Lawyers (IAL), affiliated to the ruling Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala has termed the judgment of the Kerala High Court imposing a cost of rupees one lakh while dismissing a plea seeking removal of the photo of Prime Minister Modi from COVID-19 vaccination certificate, extremely unfortunate and condemnable.
"The state committee of the IAL considered the imposition of cost of rupees one lakh extremely unfortunate and condemnable", said a press release by the organisation.
The release also said that imposition of cost is not common and is done only in rare circumstances.
"The petitioner only questioned the appropriateness of the printing photograph on the vaccine certificate, which is not done anywhere else in the world. It is an injustice and violation of constitutional principles to impose such a big punishment for that", said the release.
While dismissing the Writ Petition with cost, Justice P. V. Kunhikrishnan had stated that he has strong doubt that the petitioner has a political agenda.
"According to my opinion, this is a frivolous petition filed with ulterior motives and I have a strong doubt that there is political agenda also to the petitioner. According to me, this is a publicity oriented litigation. Therefore, this is a fit case that is to be dismissed with a heavy cost.", the Court had stated.
Justice P. V. Kunhikrishnan was sworn in as a judge in February last year. Though his name was recommended by the High Court Collegium in March 2018 and the Supreme Court Collegium in October 2018 and reiterated in February 2019, the appointment was done by the centre only after about two years.
This had prompted Justice Kunhikrishnan to speak at length during his swearing-in ceremony about dangers involved in governments trying to prevent individuals from becoming judges based on their political ideologies. He had also said that the waiting period he underwent was painful.