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Supreme Court stays Rajasthan HC judgment prohibiting Jain Sallekhana

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Photo Credit: mangu.tv

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a stay on the 10-August Rajasthan High Court ruling that equated the ancient Jain spiritual practice of Sallekhana with committing suicide. The Rajasthan HC ruling had allowed prosecution of the Sallekhana practitioners under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code.

Digamber_Jain_Monk_AnimationMany from the Jain community had filed petitions in the Supreme Court against the HC ruling. On Monday, the SC bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy took up the petition for hearing and immediately ordered a stay on the HC ruling. The SC then issued a notice to the petitioners on whose pleas, the HC had passed its judgment, according to a Times of India report.

Sallekhana or Santhara is an ancient spiritual practice among the Jains, wherein people who were in old age or afflicted with fatal diseases, will take up spiritual austerities and fasting by slowly giving up the intake of food and water. The final stage of the practice consists of discarding the body through total giving up of food and water.

In 2006, Nikhil Soni had filed a PIL in Rajasthan HC challenging the legality of this practice.

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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)