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EC allows use of indelible ink to mark home quarantined, but lists two conditions

The Election Commission suo moto reviewed its guidelines on the use of the indelible ink and notified the health secretary.

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New Delhi: In an unprecedented move, the Election Commission of India (ECI) allowed the use of indelible ink, used to mark voters after they cast their ballot, on persons instructed to be home quarantined by health authorities.

In a letter sent to the health secretary 25 March, the ECI said, “Due to extraordinary circumstances because of COVID-19 pandemic, the commission has reviewed its decision suo-moto and it is decided to allow the usage of Indelible Ink on persons for stamping for home quarantine by health authorities…”

It has, though, instructed health authorities to not use the ink on the left hand of any individual.

According to the Conduct of Election rules, the left forefinger of voters is marked with indelible ink to ensure the principle of ‘one person, one vote’.

“Ministry may standardize the mark and the location on the body where the mark is to be applied so that it does not come in the way of the conduct of elections anywhere in the country,” the letter stated.

The ECI has further directed the health ministry to maintain a log of those being marked.

Also read: Delhi government to mark all homes with persons advised home quarantine for COVID-19

The ministry will also have to ensure that the ink is not used for any other purpose, the ECI letter stated.

“ECI would like to bring to notice of entities be they Ministries/Departments in GoI, any PSUs in the Central/State sector/Govt of user states/Govt of UTs that indelible ink mark is normally expected to last for 3 days when applied on the skin but lasts for a few weeks on the fingernail till the nail grows out,” the letter added.

The letter was also marked to the Chief Electoral Officers of all the states, who will ensure that the ink, otherwise always in the custody of the ECI, is shared with health authorities.

Also read: India’s perfectly-timed lockdown & wartime efforts to find Covid-19 cure


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    My GMR pass no.A99133
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