In a letter to the Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the Secretary, Election Commission Of India (ECI) on Wednesday informed the former that the undersigned has been directed to state that due to the extraordinary circumstances because of COVID-19 pandemic, the Election Commission Of India 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.

The letter also states the following conditions:

  1. As per the provisions of Rule 49K of the Conduct of Elections Rules,1961, the left forefinger of electors is required to be marked with indelible ink at the polling stations before the elector is allowed to vote.

Subrule (4) of the said Rule 49K provides that in cases where the elector does not have forefinger on the left hand, the ink is to be marked on any finger on his left hand, and if he does not have any finger on his left hand, the ink is to be marked on his right forefinger. Hence, concerned authorities shall be instructed not to use the Indelible Ink on any finger on the left hand of any persons.

2. 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.

3. The authorities concerned shall be instructed to maintain the record of the persons to whom Indelible Ink is applied.

4. The authorities shall also be instructed to ensure that the Indelible Ink shall not be used for any other purpose.

It further states that the Commission would like to bring to the notice of entities be they be Ministries/ Departments in GOI / any PSUs in the Central / State sector/ Govts of user States / Govts 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.