Libertatem Magazine

Unconscious Possession of Cartridges Would Not Attract Arms Act: Delhi High Court

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The Order had come in the form of a writ petition filed by Mr. Adhiraj Singh. The Petition sought direction from the High Court of Delhi to quash an FIR filed against him under the Arms Act, 1959.

Facts of the Case:

The Petitioner herein Adhiraj Singh Yadav was an engineering student and had appeared for Air Force Common Admission Test. The Petitioner was scheduled to travel from Delhi to Ahmedabad to appear in the interview process for recruitment to the Air Force. While he was about to board the flight, twenty-live cartridges were recovered from his hand baggage. After which, an FIR was registered against the Petitioner under Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959. 

Submissions before the Court:

The Petitioner claimed that he had borrowed the baggage from the wife of his landlord Colonel Prashant Gupta. And he was not aware that there was any live ammunition kept in the sleeves of the said bag. A status report also verified that Colonel Prashant Gupta held a valid arms licence. It was also admitted that the ammunition recovered from the Petitioner belonged to him only. 

Ld. ASC Mr. Mahajan appeared for the state. He also submitted that there was no material to doubt the explanation provided by the Petitioner.

Court’s Order:

A Vacation Bench comprising Vibhu Bakhru relied on the Hon’ble Supreme Court‘s decision in Gunwant Lal v. The State of Madhya Pradesh : (1972) 2 SCC 194 and Sanjay Dutt v. State through CBI Bombay (II), Crimes 1994 (3) 344 (SC). Where it was recorded that, the possession of a firearm under the Arms Act must have the element of consciousness or knowledge of that possession in the person charged with such offence.

Therefore, the Court quashed the FIR filed against the Petitioner based on the above-mentioned rulings. 

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