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SC: Govt has wonderful Schemes, but nothing on ground

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday criticized the Centre, saying the ground reality vis-a-vis welfare of children from vulnerable sections of society was far divorced from the government’s “wonderful” laws, policies and schemes for their care and welfare.

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“All the ideas you have seem OK. Government of India has wonderful laws, ideas and schemes but the things are different at the ground,” the social justice bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta shought to apprise the court of the schemes the government has framed for welfare of children. As ASG Mehta mentioned “Sabla”  the Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls — the court observed: “It is a wonderful scheme but what is happening. People do a lot of work, make plans but what happens. But ground realities are completely different. “The court noted that on April 17, it asked the government to take steps for the expeditious appointment of the chairman and members of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which are lying vacant for quite some time but even today the situation is where it was then.

The vacancies of the NCPCR chairperson who demitted office in 2014 and that of the members who completed their terms in 2013 have not been filled. The court on April 17, while referring to the government’s affidavit, said: “Absolutely, no indication has been given as to when the selection process will be or is likely to be completed. “Having disapproved of the way the “wonderful” laws, schemes and policies for the welfare of children were being implemented, the court sought details of the budgetary allocations and utilization towards Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). The court directed further hearing of the matter on October 16.

(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.

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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)