Delhi High Court has recently reiterated that recovery of a single cartridge from a person, without the recovery of a firearm along with it, would not attract liability under the Arms Act.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait went on to note that the accused would be protected under section 45(d) of the Arms Act if possession of the ammunition was unconscious, there was no arm with the accused and there was no threat to anyone.
Section 45(d) of the Arms Act provides for non-applicability of the Arms Act when there's possession of minor parts of arms or ammunition which are not intended to be used along with complementary parts acquired or possessed by that or any other person.
The present application was filed under section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code seeking quashing of the FIR against a Sec. Coordinator who was found with possession of two live cartridges, and upon inquiry, could not produce the licence for the same.
During interrogation, the said person had stated that live bullet was with him by mistake as he was wearing his uncle's pant and also stated that a valid arms licence is issued to his uncle.
While arguing his case, the Petitioner's counsel relied upon the decision of the Delhi High Court in Chan Hong Saik vs. State and Anr., 2012 (130) DRJ 504 where it was held that a single cartridge without firearm is a minor ammunition which is protected under clause (d) of Section 45 of the Arms Act.
However, the said decision was referred to a larger Bench or the court in Dharmendra vs. State in CRL.M.C. 4493/2015 where the court had opined that single cartridge is ammunition and comes under the Arms Act, 1959.
While interpreting the two contrary positions, the court highlighted that while the larger did disagree with the decision in Chan Hong Saik, it did opine that the possession of the ammunition was unconscious and there was no arm with the accused and there was no threat to anyone, therefore this Court has rightly quashed the FIR.
Therefore, the present court relied upon the test considered by the larger bench, and noted that in this case it is not the case of the prosecution that there was firearm recovered from the petitioner or there was any threat to anyone at the Airport.
Therefore, the court quashed the FIR against the accused.
Read Judgment Here