The Delhi High Court quashed criminal proceedings against a man accused of carrying a live cartridge in his luggage at the IGI Airport’s domestic wing. Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said Pawan Gaur was not in “conscious possession of the bullet”.
Gaur was apprehended at IGI Airport in July 2017, while he was about to board an AirAsia flight to Bengaluru. During baggage screening, the complainant noticed a suspicious image, following which it was referred for physical check. A live cartridge was recovered from Gaur’s check-in baggage, following which an FIR was lodged under sections of the Arms Act.
Challenging the FIR in the HC, Gaur’s counsel did not dispute the recovery of the cartridge, but argued that his client holds an arms licence. The counsel also contended that possession in the present case was neither “conscious” nor “intentional”, hence no offence under the Arms Act, 1959, can be made out.
Standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra, however, opposed the quashing of the petition, contending that the man was in “conscious possession” of ammo.
Disagreeing with Mehra’s contention, the HC noted that “the petitioner was in possession of the said cartridge. However, he expressed his lack of awareness in respect of the said cartridge. He also holds a valid arms licence…”
The judge concluded that “continuance of proceedings would be an exercise in futility as the necessary ingredients to constitute the offence in question is lacking”.