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Foreign firearm seized from resident: Calcutta High Court asks State, NIA to respond

By Rintu Mariam Biju      09 February, 2024 04:09 PM      0 Comments
Foreign firearm seized from resident: Calcutta High Court asks State, NIA to respond

CALCUTTA: On Thursday, the Calcutta High Court sought responses from the West Bengal government and the National Investigation Agency in a public interest litigation seeking probe into an incident where a foreign made pistol was seized from a Kolkata resident. 

Stating that matter is “grave”, a division bench consisting of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Supratim Bhattacharya stated that the West Bengal Police would not be the appropriate agency to look into the crime since it could involve other States or a different country. 

“After hearing the submissions, the Chief Justice directed NIA and the State to file their responses. "You (probe agency) will have to examine or investigate the source of these arms. So, both of you (NIA & State) file your affidavits”

The Court also indicated that a detailed hearing will have to be conducted before arriving at a decision. 

As the hearing progressed, the court was told that the origin of the firearm seized was foreign. 

The counsel for NIA said that if the pistol was manufactured abroad, then it would raise a question of national security. 

The petition was referring to the incident of January 8 wherein the State Police arrested an individual after it seized a foreign made pistol from him. The accused was only booked under Sections 27 (using illegal firearm) and 29 (procuring firearm from unlicensed person) of the Arms Act. Notably, Section 27, which forbids the selling of firearms and carries punishment of life imprisonment was not invoked, the plea argued. 

"The State Police has not even invoked provisions of the UAPA law. There is an apprehension that more arms and ammunition may be recovered from him. The accused had been threatening the local residents. Therefore, we have no faith in the State Police," the counsel for the petitioner reportedly argued before the Court. 

The UAPA's provisions will apply to the current case. Additionally, the main offense is violating the Explosive Substances Act and the Arms Act, both of which are scheduled offenses that the NIA should look into”, Additional Solicitor General Ashoke Kumar Chakraborty said as the hearing concluded. 



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