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SC directs CBI to take over all Vyapam cases

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: All Vyapam scam cases – involving irregularities in admissions and recruitment in Madhya Pradesh – are to be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) irrespective of the stage of their investigations or trial, the Supreme Court directed on Friday.

We direct the CBI to take over 72 cases which are in different stages, within three weeks,” said a bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice C. Nagappan and Justice Amitava Roy.

The apex court also directed the Special Task Force/Special Investigation Team that has been investigating these cases, to extend all co-operation when such a request was made by the CBI.

Noting that the CBI was already processing the appointment of 19 public prosecutors to lead its cases before the trial court, the court asked it to complete the appointment of 48 public prosecutors needed to cover 24 trial courts.

Fixing October 9 as the next date of hearing, the apex court asked the CBI to file a status report on compliance of its orders.

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As Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar informed the court of the difficulty the probe agency was facing in getting the required manpower, the court reminded him of the commitment made by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the agency would take over all the cases including the appointment of public prosecutors.

Appearing for the department of personnel and training, Rohatgi told the court that the investigating agency had 6,000 people and another 900 are being recruited. Police officers ranked as inspectors or sub-inspectors are the main requirement but the difficulty being faced is that people from state police are not inclined to come to CBI.

Appearing for one of the petitioners, senior counsel K.T.S.Tulsi opined that generally it has been seen that people are happy to come to CBI on deputation. Rohatgi said that it was only in the case of senior officers and not ground-level officers. At the lower rung, personnel from state police are reluctant to come over to CBI as it results in their dislocation from the state.

(With inputs from 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)