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Will Manmohan Singh face the coal scam heat? SC to hear former PM’s plea on April 1

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A view of the Indian Supreme Court building is seen in New Delhi

By Newsgram Staff Writer

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will take up for hearing of Manmohan Singh’s plea in coal scam case on April 1.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has filed a petition challenging his summoning by the apex court in connection  with the allocation of a Talabira II coal block to owned Hindalco which is owned by industrialist Kumarmangalam Birla.

On being asked when they were going to mention former prime minister’s plea for an early hearing, a senior counsel who will appear for Manmohan Singh on Friday said there is no need to mention as petition is listed for hearing on April 1.

Special Court Judge Bharat Parashar, who is holding trial of cases rooted in coal block allocation scam, on March 11 had summoned Manmohan Singh as an accused for allocating Talabira II coal block in Orissa to Hindalco in 2005.

Besides the former prime minister, the court had also summoned Birla and then coal secretary P.C. Parakh under offences of criminal conspiracy and breach of trust of the Indian Penal Code, and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

 

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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)