The Supreme Court in a murder case has observed that if unlicensed firearms are freely used, this will sound the death knell of the rule of law.

A Bench of Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagaratha while noting that it was one of those cases where the offences involving Section 302 IPC were committed using an unlicensed firearm, remarked -

"It is of the greatest significance to preserve the life of all, that resort must not be made to unlicensed fire arms. In particular, if unlicensed fire arms are freely used, this will sound the death knell of rule of law."

The Court also expressed its displeasure over the use of unlicensed firearms in a number of cases in the commission of serious offences and said that this was very disturbing.

The Bench further observed, "Unlike the Constitution of the United States where the right to bear fire arms is a fundamental freedom, in the wisdom of our founding fathers, no such right has been conferred on anyone under the Constitution of India. The matter relating to regulation of fire arms is governed by Statute, viz., Arms Act, 1959, inter alia."

The Court thus found it appropriate to use this case as a measure to ascertain and do whatever may be necessary so that the problem of unlicensed firearms is firmly dealt with by the authorities and directed the State to file an affidavit before the Court as to the number of cases it has registered under the Arms Act or under any other law enabling it to do so for the possession and use or any other aspect relating to unlicensed firearms.

The Bench further directed that the affidavit must be placed before the Court within four weeks from the date of the passing of the order and be sworn by the Director General of Police-Uttar Pradesh. The Court also directed that the affidavit must indicate the steps taken by the State towards rooting out the evil of unlicensed firearms.

In this case, the order of the Allahabad High Court was challenged before the Supreme Court wherein the High Court had dismissed the bail application for the Petitioner-Accused for the offence under Section 302 IPC.

AOR Rohit Kumar Singh appeared for the Petitioner while AOR Sarvesh Singh Baghel appeared for the Respondent-State before the Court.

The Counsel for the Respondent apprised the Court of the fact that 12 witnesses out of 15 had already been examined and only three remained and sought time to find out whether any of the witnesses had given evidence about the involvement of the petitioner in the incident and if so, in what manner.

While noting so, the Court listed the matter for February 28.

Cause Title - Rajendra Singh v. The State of Uttar Pradesh

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