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Supreme Court asks Central Government take a Call on statutory regime for NRI Voting

The bench noted that by amending the Section 20 and 20 (A) of the Representation of People Act the government has, in principle, accepted the NRI right to vote

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Supreme Court asks Central Government take a Call on statutory regime for NRI Voting. Wikimedia

New Delhi July 14, 2017: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central government to take a call whether it wanted to amend the Representation of People Act or its Rules to decide on the modalities of NRI voting in elections from their overseas locations.

Giving the government “one further opportunity” to decide on the modalities of NRI voting and how it would be done, the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud asked it to come back to the court with its response on July 21.

“What are you doing, amending the Act or the Rules. Do whatever you want to do…,” the bench told the government.

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Appearing for one of the petitioners, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that modalities of NRI voting can be done by amending the Rules and would not require amending the law.

The bench noted that by amending the Section 20 and 20 (A) of the Representation of People Act the government has, in principle, accepted the NRI right to vote. It was also noted that government has in principle agreed with the report on the modalities of NRI voting prepared by the Election Commission after talking to various stakeholders including political parties and the NRIs. (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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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)