New Delhi: Describing the coronavirus outbreak as an extraordinary situation, the Election Commission has allowed the use of indelible ink by health authorities to stamp individuals for home quarantine.
In a letter to the Union Health Ministry, the Commission made it clear that indelible ink mark is normally expected to last for three days when applied on the skin but lasts for a few weeks on the fingernail till the nail grows out.
Citing provisions of the Conduct of Election rules, the poll panel said health authorities are barred from using indelible ink on any finger on the left hand of a person.
It reminded that the special purpose ink is applied on the forefinger or any other finger on the left hand before a person casts her or his vote in an election.
"The ministry may standardise the mark and the location on the body where the mark has to be applied so that it does not come in the way of conduct of elections anywhere in the country," it said.
The EC said the authorities concerned should be instructed to maintain the record of the persons on whom indelible ink is applied.
"The authorities shall also be instructed to ensure that the Indelible Ink shall not be used for any other purpose," the letter said.
The Commission said it took the decision to allow use of indible ink by authorities other than those involved in elections due to the "extraordinary circumstances because of COVID-19 pandemic."