ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Supreme Court on Salwa Judum

We warmly welcome the order by justices Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar of the Supreme Court, passed on 5 July 2011, directing the state of Chhattisgarh to stop using special police officers (SPOs) in counter-insurgency operations, disarm them and stop supporting vigilante movements by any name. We also welcome the order to the centre directing it to cease from financially supporting SPOs to engage in counter-insurgency.

Judging from the personal reactions we have had – from a very wide variety of people many of whom we do not even know – the order has been widely hailed as a landmark restatement of constitutional values. If the State is to be recognised as legitimate it must act lawfully and cannot sacrifice the law and Constitution for immediate expediency. As the judges have so succinctly observed “the power of the people vested in any organ of the State, and its agents, can only be used for promotion of constitutional values and vision”. However, judging by the reaction of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Chhattisgarh government, this basic constitutional principle is being wilfully ignored. This simply reinforces the point that the judgment makes about the way in which the respondents are undermining the Constitution and thereby the basic human values enshrined in it. Instead of accepting the court order for the sake of good governance and the national interest, they are talking about a review petition.

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