Sunday July 21, 2019
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SC refuses to interfere with ‘animal sacrifice’ practice

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: The apex court on Monday denied to interfere with the religious practice of sacrificing animals to make gods and goddesses happy across the country on the plea that it amounted to cruelty to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Declining to entertain the PIL by Varaaki, a Chennai-based journalist, a bench of Chief Justice HLK Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy said that how could it pass an order to prevent animal sacrifice when as a religious practice, it has the sanction of law.

The court said this as senior counsel Raju Ramachandran, appearing for Varaaki, told the court that when animals are slaughtered at slaughter houses, it is governed by rules and regulations and animals are slaughtered by trained people.

Ramachandran told the court that during religious practices, the animals are killed by untrained people causing unnecessary cruelty to them. He said that at times, animals are sacrificed during religious ceremonies in the presence of children.

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However, Chief Justice Dattu noted that “The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act itself gives that right (of animal sacrifice as religious practice). Villagers will say that it is our religious practice for centuries to please gods and goddesses by such animal sacrifices”.

The court said that it had to “harmonize all faiths and religions”. “These are very very sensitive matters. We can’t be blind to centuries-old traditions being followed,” it said.

Allowing the PIL to be withdrawn, the court allowed Ramachandran to implead the petitioner as a party in the matter where the apex court is hearing a challenge to Himachal High Court order banning animal sacrifice as a religious practice.

(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.

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)