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Appointment - Arming of Civilians as Special Police Officer - Spo in Anti-naxal Operation - Unconstitutional

Appointment - Arming of Civilians as Special Police Officer - Spo in Anti-naxal Operation - Unconstitutional

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-----------------------------------J.
[B.SUDERSHAN REDDY ]
---------------------------------J.
[SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR]
-----------------------------------J.
[B.SUDERSHAN REDDY ]
---------------------------------J.
[SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR]

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02/10/2013

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 250 OF 2007
 
Nandini Sundar and Ors. PetitionersVersusState of ChattisgarhRespondent
O R D E R 
I
We, the people as a nation, constituted ourselves as asovereign democratic republic to conduct our affairs withinthe four corners of the Constitution, its goals and values. Weexpect the benefits of democratic participation to flow to us– all of us -, so that we can take our rightful place, in the
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league of nations, befitting our heritage and collectivegenius. Consequently, we must also bear the discipline, andthe rigour of constitutionalism, the essence of which isaccountability of power, whereby the power of the peoplevested in any organ of the State, and its agents, can only beused for promotion of constitutional values and vision. Thiscase represents a yawning gap between the promise of principled exercise of power in a constitutional democracy,and the reality of the situation in Chattisgarh, where theRespondent, the State of Chattisgarh, claims that it has aconstitutional sanction to perpetrate, indefinitely, a regimeof gross violation of human rights in a manner, and byadopting the same modes, as done by Maoist/Naxaliteextremists. The State of Chattisgarh also claims that it hasthe powers to arm, with guns, thousands of mostly illiterateor barely literate young men of the tribal tracts, who areappointed as temporary police officers, with little or notraining, and even lesser clarity about the chain of commandto control the activities of such a force, to fight the battlesagainst alleged Maoist extremists.
2.
As we heard the instant matters before us, we could notbut help be reminded of the novella, “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, who perceived darkness at threelevels: (1) the darkness of the forest, representing a
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struggle for life and the sublime; (ii) the darkness of colonial expansion for resources; and finally (iii) thedarkness, represented by inhumanity and evil, to whichindividual human beings are capable of descending, whensupreme and unaccounted force is vested, rationalized bya warped world view that parades itself as pragmatic andinevitable, in each individual level of command. Setagainst the backdrop of resource rich darkness of theAfrican tropical forests, the brutal ivory trade sought to beexpanded by the imperialist-capitalist expansionary policyof European powers, Joseph Conrad describes the grisly,and the macabre states of mind and justificationsadvanced by men, who secure and wield force withoutreason, sans humanity, and any sense of balance. Themain perpetrator in the novella, Kurtz, breathes his lastwith the words: “The horror! The horror!” 
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Conradcharacterized the actual circumstances in Congo between1890 and 1910, based on his personal experiences there,as “the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured thehistory of human conscience.
” 
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3.
As we heard more and more about the situation inChattisgarh, and the justifications being sought to bepressed upon us by the respondents, it began to becomeclear to us that the respondents were envisioning modes
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Joseph Conrad – Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003).
2
Joseph Conrad“Geography and Some Explorers”, National Geography magazine, Vol 45, 1924.
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