Centre challenges SC order on SPOs
Home Minister P Chidambaram had also said that the Supreme Court judgement would have an impact on the anti-Naxal operations.
New Delhi: The government has moved the Supreme Court asking it to review and recall two crucial clauses of the July 5 order banning Special Police Officers (SPOs) in the anti-Naxal operations in states like Chhattisgarh.
In the petition, which was filed yesterday, the Home Ministry sought the recall of the two paras, 75 (ii) and 76, on the ground that they were against the spirit of the
Para 75 (ii) of the apex court`s order asks the "Union of India to cease and desist, forthwith, from using any of its funds in supporting, directly or indirectly the recruitment of SPOs for the purposes of engaging in any form of counter-insurgency activities against Maoist/Naxalite groups".
Para 76 of the order held the "appointment of SPOs to perform any of the duties of regular police officers, other than those specified in Sections 23(1)(h) and 23(1)(i) of Chhattisgarh Police Act, 2007, to be unconstitutional".
Sources said, the Home Ministry has pointed out that under the Constitution, policing was exclusively in the domain of the executive and, judiciary could not interfere in it.
It has also asked the court to adhere to the doctrine of separation of powers and also the well-settled principle of judiciary not interfering in policy decisions taken by the executive.
Sources said the petition has been prepared by Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval and Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati.
The Centre is expected to argue before the apex court that its order disbanding and disarming tribals, deployed as SPOs, will not only affect the anti-Naxal operations but also fight against militants in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in the Northeast, where similar sets of people were engaged by the state governments.
Home Minister P Chidambaram had also said that the Supreme Court judgement would have an impact on the anti-Naxal operations and the Centre was planning to call a meeting of Naxal-affected states to review the situation.