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A single cartridge without firearm is a minor ammunition, protected under clause (d) of Section 45 of the Arms Act: Delhi High Court

A single cartridge without firearm is a minor ammunition which is protected under clause (d) of Section 45 of the Arms Act. The possession of the ammunition if unconscious and there was no arm with the accused and there was no threat to anyone, the FIR is quashed, was referred by the Delhi High Court, in case of Manab Kumar Singh v. State & Anr. [CRL.M.C. 485/2020].

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait stated that the possession of the ammunition in the present case was unconscious and there was no threat to anyone at the airport.

The petitioner is having valid Armed License No.01-01/2016, PS-Belhar, UID No.051421000057422017 issued in his name and same has been verified from District Arms Magistrate, Banka, Bihar. The said Arms License is valid till 2021. The petitioner purchased one N.P. Bore (0.32 Bore) Revolver No.FG.78796 from Field Gun, Kanpur (U.P.). The photocopy of the Arms License is annexed with the petition as Annexure-P4 (colly) and petitioner had purchased 40 bullets of .32 bore on 19.04.2017 from Capital Gun House, Patna, Bihar and the said purchase was entered into his arms licence.

Moreover, Petitioner was travelling from Delhi to Patna by Jet Airways Flight No.9W 121, STD 16:15 hours vide Seat No.38B. During physical checking of his handbag,01 live and 04 empty fire cartridges of 325 mm Caliber, engraved on the bottom of all the cartridges “32 S & W.L.” were recovered.

The concerned CISF personnel informed the local police in this regard and petitioner was brought to IGI Airport Police Station, where an FIR No.319/2018 dated 19.06.2018 under Section 25 Arms Act was registered against the petitioner.

It was contended that the alleged bullets remained in his bag inadvertently and he did not have the knowledge that the cartridges have been left in the bag and he came to know about the same at the Airport only when the same were detected by the security personnel during screening of his hand bag. The petitioner duly explained the situation and apprised the investigating officer that it is a case of inadvertent mistake and sheer over-sightedness. The petitioner did not have any intention or requisite mens rea to carry the said cartridges for harming anybody else, the petitioner was let off after sometime.

However, the petitioner seeks quashing of FIR No. 319/2018 dated 19.06.2018 registered at Police Station – IGI Airport, New Delhi and all proceedings emanating therefrom. The present petition is filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

The court stated that in the case in hand, it is not the case of the prosecution that there was any fire arm recovered from the petitioner or there was any threat to anyone at the Airport. Therefore, in the present case, the possession of the ammunition was 5 unconscious and there was no threat to anyone.

The court held that the FIR No. 319/2018 dated 19.06.2018 registered at Police Station – IGI Airport, New Delhi and all proceedings emanating therefrom are hereby quashed. The petition was allowed.

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