Kerala High Court declines Plea for lockdown on counting day

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Lekha G

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court comprising Justice Ashok Menon and Justice C.S. Dias declined the petition filed by MK Sreekumar of Kottayam seeking a directive to impose 48-hour lockdown from May 2 in the wake of the restrictions imposed by the State Government and the Election Commission on the day of counting.

The Council appearing on behalf of the Election Commission of India submitted that it has already issued an order banning victory processions by the parties after the counting and declaration of results.

The order has further prohibited that not more than two persons should accompany a winning candidate or his/her authorized representative while receiving the certificate of the election officer concerned.

State Attorney K.V. Sohan, appearing for the State Government, submitted that an order has been issued that only election-related counting arrangements, essential and emergency services would be allowed on May 1 and 2.

The officials on election duty, candidates, counting agents and media representatives would be allowed on May 2 at the counting centres only after obtaining the final vaccination certificate or a negative RT-PCR test report within 72 hours of the start of counting.

The Bench observed that no specific order imposing action against violators of restrictions was required and the government was at liberty to invoke Epidemic Diseases Ordinance against such violators.

Further all social, political, cultural, and religious functions have been prohibited until further orders.

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