Verbal order compelling contestants to deposit firearms during Municipal Election can be given only after objective scrutiny by competent authority

Allahabad High Court: The grievance of the petitioner in a recent case before the High Court was that they were given verbal orders to deposit their firearms during the Municipal Election, 2017 against the judgment rendered by this very Court in Harihar Singh v. State of U.P., 2014 SCC OnLine All 4751. The counsel for petitioner submitted that the decision in the instant case must also be taken in terms of decision rendered in Harihar Singh’s case.

The Court observed that in the abovementioned case, it has been observed that maintenance of law and order during elections is of paramount importance and the State instrumentalities are always free to comply with the provisions of CrPC or any other applicable Act to proceed against an individual in an objective manner, if they are of the view that there are materials to direct for deposit of firearms. Accordingly in Harihar’s case, writ of mandamus was issued to the respondents not to compel the petitioners/arms licensees to deposit their firearms unless their cases have been reviewed/accessed by a competent authority in writing and after complying with the provisions of law. The Court finally decided the instant case as well in the same terms and gave the similar direction. [Bharat Lal Yadav v. State of U.P.,  2017 SCC OnLine All 2414,  decided on 14.11.2017]

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