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Offence U/S 25 Of Arms Act Not Made Out In Cases Where Suspect Wasn't Conscious That He Is In Possession Of Live Ammunition: Delhi High Court

Shreya Agarwal
4 Jan 2021 11:02 AM GMT
Offence U/S 25 Of Arms Act Not Made Out In Cases Where Suspect Wasnt Conscious That He Is In Possession Of Live Ammunition: Delhi High Court
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A single judge vacation bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru has reiterated that "unconscious possession" of firearms "would not attract the rigours of the Arms Act," while hearing a criminal writ petition moved by an engineering student in whose bag were found 20 live cartridges. The student sought quashing of the FIR lodged against him and all proceedings emanating therefrom on the ground that he...

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A single judge vacation bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru has reiterated that "unconscious possession" of firearms "would not attract the rigours of the Arms Act," while hearing a criminal writ petition moved by an engineering student in whose bag were found 20 live cartridges.

The student sought quashing of the FIR lodged against him and all proceedings emanating therefrom on the ground that he was merely carrying a borrowed bag of his landlord and dear family friend, a Colonel, and wasn't aware or conscious of the contents in the "sleeves" thereof.

Relying on the case of Sanjay Dutt v State through CBI Bombay (II), Crimes 1994 (3) 344 (SC), and the submission of the Additional Standing Counsel for the State, who submitted that "there is no material to doubt the explanation provided by the petitioner", the court quashed all proceedings under the said FIR against the student.

The court said that, "It is well settled that an offence under Section 25 of the Arms Act would not be made out in cases where the suspect was not conscious that he was in possession of live ammunition."

The material facts of the case were that the petitioner-student had appeared for Air Force common Admission Test and was scheduled to travel to Ahmedabad from Delhi on a Vistara flight in April last year for his interview. 

In the lack of suitable luggage with himself, the student had borrowed the light yellow brown hand baggage from one his landlord Colonel Prashant Gupta's wife.

He submitted that his family and that of Colonel Prashant Gupta were very close and that while using the borrowed bag, he was not aware that there was any live ammunition kept in the sleeves of the said bag. He further stated that even Ms Gupta was not aware of the same and therefore had not removed the live ammunition from the luggage before handing it over to him.

It was stated on record that the said live ammunition belonged to Col Prashant Gupta who also held a valid arms licence in this regard. The status report submitted in the case verified the stand taken by the student, and clarified that at the material time Col. Prashant Gupta held a valid arms licence bearing no. 2515/9/2017 PS Sec-20, NOIDA, UP. He had also admitted that the ammunition recovered from the student belonged to him. During the course of investigation, the seized ammunition had been sent to FSL for ballistic examination and opinion and the FSL report had since been received.

Taking the various facts and law into consideration, the court ruled in favour of the student, reiterating the position taken in the cases of Surender Kumar @ Surender Kumar Singh v. The State (GNCT of Delhi) &Anr.: W.P. (Crl) 2143/2019 decided on 27.09.2019; Aruna Chaudhary v. State &Ors.: W.P(Crl.) 1975/2019 decided on 25.09.2019 and Paramdeep Singh Sran v. The State (NCT of Delhi) W.P.: (Crl) 152/2019 decided on 29.08.2019)].


Case Title: Adhiraj Singh Yadav v. State

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