Zerodha Rules on pledged stocks in case of covered calls

Hi all. I’m a new investor exploring the wheel strategy to make some premiums on my existing holdings and reducing the cost basis.

I have some questions regarding applicability of margins while selling covered calls.

Reading previous discussions, firstly I realise that holding SPAN and exposure margins is mandatory irrespective of whether the call is covered or naked (bummer but ok) and this exposure margin can increase as I get closer to expiry.

I also would need to hold 50% margin in cash or cash equivalents to continue with the trade.

(please correct me if I’m wrong)

So to somewhat workaround this, I’ve thought that I would pledge my underlying holdings to cover the 50% and bring in 50% cash to hold the position (and I would hold enough of this margin as the expiry gets closer to be fully compliant with margin requirement on the last day of expiry)

In the event that the contract expires ITM and the stock will get called away, do I have to unpledge the shares? (Which would make it difficult as I may not be margin compliant on expiry day) or can I safely let it get called away?

I’m asking this because there’s been no discussion I could find on this matter in the Indian context as most countries don’t even have margins for covered calls. Also as per the new pledge unpledge system, stocks remain in the clients DEMAT, and the rules for covered calls in case the contract expires ITM to prevent short delivery obligation is that the stock must remain in sellers DEMAT. So theoretically I should be fine with not unpledging… but I don’t know for sure.