A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered police protection to the Returning Officer for elections to the S.N. Dharma Sangham Trust, Sivagiri, for taking ballot boxes from the premises of the Federal Bank, Varkala, to the Guest House of Sivagiri Math for counting and back to the bank.
The Bench comprising Justice R. Basant and Justice M.C. Hari Rani also appointed two High Court lawyers to assist Returning Officer K. Viswanathan Nair in counting the votes. The court appointed the lawyers when the Returning Officer sought the assistance of two persons for counting the votes. He also pointed out that though the number of ballots was only 58, each ballot had 11 candidates and, therefore, he needed the assistance of two persons.
The polled votes were kept in a box in the bank. The boxes had to be taken to the counting centre and back. He feared that there might be untoward incidents while taking the ballots to the counting centre and back. Hence his plea for police protection.
The Bench had earlier allowed the Returning Officer to count the votes polled in the elections and produce the results in a sealed cover before the court by October 18. The Bench had made it clear that the present board of trustees could continue as board of receivers to perform the day to day affairs of the Math. The court said that the boards of receivers should not take any policy decision. The directions had come on a petition by Swami Sookshamananda.
Keywords: Sivagiri Math