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SC notice over PIL on vigilance officials

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the central government on a petition by NGO Common Cause seeking the quashing of the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K.V. Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner (VC) T.M. Bhasin as their appointment was said to have breached the principle of “institutional integrity”. Supreme_Court_of_India_-_Central_Wing

The notice has also been issued to Chaudhary and Bhasin.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy sought responses from the central government as well as Chaudhary and Bhasin in two weeks. It gave a week’s time to Common Cause to file a rejoinder if any.

The NGO’s counsel urged the court to direct the government to make available the minutes of the meeting wherein Chaudhary and Bhasin were appointed the CVC and VC respectively.

He also sought the material that was placed before the Selection Committee relating to Chaudhary and Bhasin. The court asked Bhushan to make an appropriate application for seeking these records.

The PIL by the Common Cause and some others had sought to declare the appointment of Chaudhary and Bhasin as “illegal and void” as it violated the principles of “impeccable integrity” and “institutional integrity” spelt out by the apex court in earlier judgments.

Even before the appointment of Chaudhary as CVC, the PIL says several representations were made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Congress leader Malikarjun Kharge giving specific reasons why he was “not eligible and suitable for heading this important institution”. 

(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.

Also Read- Top 7 Must Visit Tourist Attractions in Cambodia

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