‘Very disturbing trend’: SC registers suo motu case on unlicensed firearms

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday observed that unlike the US where the right to bear arms is a fundamental right, no such right has been conferred on anybody under the Indian Constitution, while registering a suo motu case to curb the large number of unlicensed firearms in the country.

A bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and B.V. Nagarathna, hearing a bail application of murder accused Rajendra Singh, represented by advocate Rohit Kumar Singh, noted that an unlicensed firearm was used and offences under section 302 along with 307 of the IPC was registered. It added that it has come across several cases where unlicensed arms were used and termed the trend “very disturbing”.

The bench observed that unlike the US constitution where the right to bear arms is a fundamental right and under the wisdom of our founding fathers, no such right has been conferred on anybody under the Constitution.

It further added that it is important to stop unlicensed firearms in particular and stressed that preservation of life is significant.

Taking suo moto of unlicensed arms, Justice Joseph orally observed that he is from Kerala and there are very few cases there. The bench further added that whatever may happen in this bail matter, it is taking up the case, because if this issue is not addressed, then it would impact the rule of law.

The bench asked counsel, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, to bring on record the number of cases registered on the use and possession of unlicensed firearms, and also what steps have been taken to arrest this trend.

It stressed that the problem of unlicensed arms should be firmly dealt with by the authorities and it will take necessary steps in that direction.

The bench sought an affidavit from UP Director General of Police, within four weeks.