Kerala HC rules out lockdown on counting day

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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday disposing off a bunch of petitions seeking a lockdown on counting day on May 2, said that there is no need for such a directive as adequate measures have been taken by the Election Commission and the Kerala government.

On Monday 21,890 people turned Covid positive after 96,398 samples was sent for testing. As a result the total active cases in the state have reached 2,32,812 — the highest ever recorded in Kerala.

The petitions came up after many believed that this sudden surge was on account of the free hand given by the authorities for over three weeks for conducting the election campaign, just before the April 6 polling day in the state.

The petitioners sought the support of the court to come out with steps to declare a lockdown on counting day, as all protocols would be thrown out of the window by the winning candidates.

The court looked at the guidelines given by the Election Commission including that there should be no victory celebrations at all. Once the results are announced, the winning candidate or his representative and just two people will be allowed to come to collect the victory certificate from the returning officer.

The Kerala government has asked all election officials, media, the candidates and the accepted number of counting agents to come with a RT-PCR test result or such people should have taken both the vaccine doses, if they wish to enter the counting centres.

Moreover, following the spike in cases since last Saturday, the Kerala government has ordered a partial lockdown on Saturday and Sunday till further notice, where only those who have a valid and genuine reason according to the Covid protocols can come out of their homes.

Hearing of the guidelines given, the court expressed satisfaction and was confident that things will be managed and hence there was no need for an order declaring a lockdown.

–IANS

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