The government has moved the Supreme Court seeking recall of its verdict that struck down the use of special police officers (SPOs) in handling internal security challenges.
Government sources said a petition has been filed against the judgment that ordered disarming civilians who are paid an honorarium for standing up to terrorists, naxals and insurgents.
The move follows several rounds of consultations between the home ministry and law officers right up to the Attorney General GE Vahanvati. The SC had ordered the Centre to stop funding the recruitment of SPOs by state governments for operations against the naxalites.
There is a section within the Congress that believes the government should not go against the verdict that came on a petition challenging arming of tribals in Chhattisgarh under the Salwa Judum movement. Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh had called the SC verdict a “good judgment”.
But the home ministry was concerned at the wide-ranging implications that the verdict would have including the potential to put the lives of civilians — armed and organised under village defence committees to defend themselves — at risk.
Apart from not recognising the crucial role that private citizens have always played right from the Independence struggle, officials said the verdict appeared to have got into policy issues that should be in the domain of the executive.
“This judgment has far reaching implications. We have to approach this matter with due caution... We will take a decision (on it) in the next few days,” Home Minister P Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha last week.