Permission From Magistrate Wasn't Obtained: Karnataka HC Quashes FIR For Killing Sambar Deer
A Karnataka High Court Bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar has quashed an FIR which was on the allegation that the petitioners had used two guns to kill a sambar deer.
The Court held that the police registered the FIR without obtaining the order of the Magistrate as specified under Section 155(2) of Cr. P.C, and the FIR is one without the authority of law. Therefore, the Court observed that the continuation of the investigation against petitioners in the absence of prior permission from the Magistrate would be an abuse of the process of law.
Senior Advocate PP Hegde and Counsel Venkatesh Somareddi appeared for the Petitioners while HCGP Mahesh Shetty appeared for the Respondents.
In this case, a private complaint was filed against the petitioners alleging that they had illegally entered the forest land and shot Sambar using two guns. The complaint was filed under Section 200 of the CrPC for offences punishable under Sections 9, 27, 31, 39, 71(A), 50, 51, 52, 55 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, Section 71(a) of Karnataka Forest Act, 1963, and Section 50 of the Wild Life Protection Act.
The Court noted that the allegations in the FIR registered for the offences under Sections 3, 7, 25, 27 and 30 of the Arms Act, 1959 is that the petitioners/accused had used two licensed guns for killing sambars in violation of the conditions of license. In that context, the Court also noted that "Section 3 of the Arms Act, 1959 deals with grant of license in acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition. Section 7 of the Arms Act, 1959 prohibits the acquisition or possession, or of manufacture or sale of prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition. Section 25 of the Act specifies punishment for certain offences. Section 27 of the Act specifies punishment for use of arms etc., Section 30 of the Act specifies the punishment for contravenes of license or rule. Section 35 of the Act specifies criminal responsibility of the persons in occupation of premises in certain cases."
Subsequently, the Court observed that the allegations made in the FIR constitute the offences only under Sections 30 and 35 of the Act and that those offences are punishable with imprisonment for a term of six months or with fine amount of Rs.2,000/- or with both. In that context, it was observed that "Hence, offences under the said provisions are non cognizable and the police before registering FIR were required to obtain order from the learned Magistrate as specified under Section 155(2) of Cr.P.C. The police without obtaining the order of the learned Magistrate as specified under Section 155(2) of Cr.P.C has registered the FIR and the same is one without authority of law. Hence, continuation of investigation against petitioners/accused in the absence of prior permission from learned Magistrate will be an abuse of process of law."
In light of the same, the FIR was quashed by the Court.
Cause Title: Sri Atar Ahmed & Ors. v. The Assistant Conservator of Police & Ors.