Delhi High Court has issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation filed by a poor Tea vendor seeking to ban ‘celebratory firing’ which had taken life of his seventeen year old daughter last month. The petitioner, Shyam Sunder Kausal has sought a direction from the High Court to Delhi police commissioner to ensure that no incident of Celebratory firing should go unattended and unpunished.
Through the petition, he contends that this practise of ‘celebratory firing’ amounts to violation of fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. He states “Person having the licenced Arms uses it in public gathering, religious places, and marriage parties and likewise other functions where the licensee intends to show his authority and status in the guise of joy. This amounts to causing terror in general public.”
Last month, Kausal’s daughter,who was standing in the balcony with her sisters and watching the marriage procession, was killed as someone who was participating in the procession took out his pistol and all of a sudden fired in the air in celebration which hit her. The petition also contains similar incidents of ‘celebratory firing’ which has led to death of innocent onlookers. Little do they realize that such firing is neither desirable nor legal and can also kill someone. That obnoxious practice of Celebratory firing is not under check and consequently the numbers of deaths are increasing, the petitioner contends through the PIL.
He further states “Celebratory gunfire is partly a show of machismo and status, partly an alternative to fireworks. Most commonly guns are fired into the air. In fact those hit by falling bullets are far more likely to suffer a fatal injury than those in a normal shooting.”
One of the prayers in the PIL is to make indulging in celebratory firing, an offence, with punishment as jail term and the convict must be made to pay adequate compensation to the victim or the victim's kin.
Advocates Akash Vajpai, Isha Aggarwal, and Satya Ranjan Swain appeared for the petitioners.
Read the petition here.