Allahabad High Court: In an application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘CrPC’) to quash the proceedings under Section 3 read with Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959 J.J. Munir, J. said that the accused is to be blamed if he has approached an Arms Dealer to secure an arms license. The accused cannot rid themselves of their liability in the matter, by saying that they secured the arms licenses through the Durga Gun House. Further, directed the Principal Secretary, Lucknow, to ensure a thorough inquiry into the matter.
The allegation in the impugned charge-sheet is about manufacturing fake arms licenses, that were arranged in big numbers by Durga Gun House. The beneficiaries were the holders of fake arms licenses. The accused/ applicant also got his arms license through the agency of Durga Gun House and his license has been found to be fake during investigation.
The accused submitted that it was all a handwork of Durga Gun House and the Arms Clerk in the office of the District Magistrate, hence, the Court said that, still the accused cannot be entitled to seek quashing of the impugned proceedings.
The Court opined that the offence in the present case is very serious, and it is not imaginable that so many licenses can be issued without the involvement of higher ups in the establishment of the Collectorate. The accused cannot rid themselves of their liability in the matter, by saying that they secured the arms licenses through the Durga Gun House.
The Court said that under the scheme of the Arms Act, it is not the job of an Arms Dealer to secure arms licenses for those desiring to possess a firearm. An application has to be made to the Collectorate in the proper form, directly by the licensee. The accused is to be blamed if he has approached an Arms Dealer to secure an arms license. The business of the Arms Dealer is to sell firearms to a person holding a valid license, which he produces at the time of purchasing it, and it not the job of the Arms Dealer to secure licenses for customers whom he wishes to sell the Arms.
Further, the Court directed the Principal Secretary, Lucknow, to ensure a thorough inquiry into the matter.
[Dev Narayan Verma v State of UP, 2023 SCC OnLine All 123, Order dated 03-04-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Applicant: Advocate Suneel Kumar;
Counsel for Opposite Party: Government Advocate.