The Delhi High Court has quashed an FIR registered against a man for "inadvertently" carrying a cartridge to an airport without valid documents and ordered him to distribute mosquito repellents and hand sanitisers to government school students.

Because of acts of commission and omission by the petitioner-accused, the police machinery was put in motion and useful time was misdirected. Therefore, he must now do some good for society, Justice Jasmeet Singh said.

The Court said that mosquito repellents and hand sanitisers should be distributed in a government or municipal school comprising a minimum of 200 students.

The school will be identified by the additional public prosecutor in consultation with the investigating officer and the kits shall be given within one week after that, it said.

The FIR was registered against the US resident for alleged violation of the Arms Act after the petitioner, who was scheduled to travel from Delhi to Chicago, was found in possession of one live ammunition without any documents at the time of the search.

The man claimed that his uncle used his licensed weapon for celebratory firing during Diwali and one of the cartridges inadvertently remained in the pocket of his trouser which he wore to the airport.

The petitioner said he was surprised and shocked when the cartridge was found in his pocket. He claimed it was not a "conscious possession".

The court said 'conscious possession' was a core ingredient to establish the guilt for offences punishable under the Arms Act and mere possession without awareness cannot make the accused liable for the offence.

In his July 28 order, Justice Singh said, "I am of the view that since the police machinery has been put in motion on account of the acts of commission and omission on behalf of the petitioner and useful time of the police which could have been utilised for important matters has been misdirected towards these petty matters, therefore, the petitioner must do some social good for the society."

"FIR in the present case will be quashed subject to the petitioner providing a kit to each student of a primary school (MCD school or a government school, comprising a minimum of 200 students) consisting of 50 ml of mosquito repellent and 50 ml of hand sanitiser," he said.

The Court said it is apparent from the facts of the case that only a single cartridge has been recovered from the petitioner and no other firearm has been found from him which makes it clear that the petitioner was not having conscious possession of the live cartridge.

"In light of the mentioned judgements, where the facts are para materia to the facts of the instant case and taking into account the fact that the petitioner was indeed not in conscious possession the FIR No. 0308/2021 dated 15.11.2021 under Section 25 of the Arms Act, at PS IGI Airport against the petitioner is hereby quashed and thus the proceedings emanating there from against the petitioner are also quashed," it said.

Cause Title: Bakshi Mohemmed Riyazuddin v. State NCT of Delhi And Anr.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs