Delhi High Court Quashes FIR Against Canadian Caught With Live Ammunition At Airport
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh of the Delhi High Court heard a Petition seeking the quashing of an FIR filed for an offence under Section 30 of the Arms Act.
The Court quashed the FIR and all the consequential proceedings on the grounds that the Petitioner was not conscious of the possession of live ammunition and an offence under the Arms Act could not be constituted if the suspect was unaware of his possession.
Mr. Vikas Gupta appeared for the Petitioner while Mr. Avi Singh appeared for the State.
The Petitioner was travelling from Delhi to Toronto. At the baggage inspection, the authorised person noticed an image of live ammunition while screening the Petitioner's jacket. During the physical check of the jacket, 3 live ammunition were recovered from it. The Petitioner claimed to have a valid arms license, but the Petitioner didn't have any supporting physical documents in his possession for carrying ammunition.
The Petitioner submitted before the Court that he was not in conscious possession of the alleged ammunition as he wore a jacket after a very long time and couldn't check it thoroughly as he was in a rush to reach the airport.
A status report was handed over in Court which recorded that the Petitioner had produced a license in his name, although the veracity of the license had not been verified.
The Court relied upon Judgments including that of the Supreme Court in the matters of Sanjay Dutt v. State through CBI Bombay (II), and Gunwant Lal v. The State of Madhya Pradesh, to hold that an offence under the Arms Act would not be made out in cases where the suspect was not conscious that he was in possession of live ammunition.
Therefore, the Court held that "The Petitioner has been able to make out a case that he was not conscious about the possession of the live ammunition. It was a mishap that the live ammunition remained in his jacket and he came to airport with the same jacket. He has produced a valid arms license and the status report records the same. Even though the authenticity is yet to be verified, prima facie, the facts as submitted and the status report taken on record, corroborates that the Petitioner did not have knowledge of the possession."
The Court directed the Petitioner to pay Rs 30,000 /- to the DLSA and quashed the FIR against him, and all the consequential proceedings.