Tuesday September 17, 2019
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Haryana to clarify stand on eligibility criteria for panchayat polls

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New Delhi: The Haryana government will inform the Supreme Court on Tuesday whether it is inclined to drop educational qualification as an eligibility criteria for the candidates aspiring to contest Panchayat elections, according to reports.

Picture credit: indianexpress.com
Picture credit: indianexpress.com

Elections to Panchayats in the state are due and the process commenced on September 8.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Monday told the apex court bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre that they would get back with their response as they found the court had “serious” reservation on the criteria providing for matriculation qualification for the candidates.

The Haryana Panchayati Raj law provides besides education, grounds of criminal background, bank arrears and toilets as eligibility criteria for the candidates aspiring to contest the Panchayat election.

The court had stayed the amended provisions of the Haryana Panchayati Raj law on September 17.

(IANS)

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US: Supreme Court Blocks Administration’s Effort to Add Citizenship Question on Census

The citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act

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US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
FILE - Demonstrators protest during a Fair Maps rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2019. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the upcoming U.S. census by saying he’d asked his lawyers whether there was a way to delay the nationwide head count.

In a tweet hours after the court announced its decision, Trump said it “seems totally ridiculous” that the government could not question people about their citizenship on the census, which takes place once every 10 years.

The Supreme Court ruled the administration’s explanation — that the citizenship question was meant to better enforce the Voting Rights Act — was “more of a distraction” from the issue than an explanation.

Opponents of the citizenship question say it would intimidate noncitizens into not answering the census, ultimately leaving them underrepresented in Congress.

US, Supreme Court, Citizenship
U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the Supreme Court’s decision to block his administration’s effort. Pixabay

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the 5-4 ruling.

 The nation’s highest court also announced Thursday that it was rejecting a request to intervene in states’ redistricting efforts.  Redrawing the boundaries of voting districts is meant to ensure proportional representation in state legislatures as the population grows and changes locations.

Republicans in the state of North Carolina and Democrats in the state of Maryland have been accused of redrawing the lines of voting districts to keep power in the hands of the ruling party.

The chief justices said manipulation of the electoral map, a practice known colloquially as gerrymandering, is a problem for state governments to solve, not the Supreme Court.

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Thursday was the final day of rulings by the Supreme Court before its summer break. (VOA)