The Karnataka High Court has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu district to consider the application of a renowned shooter for grant of four more arms and 25,000 ammunition.
A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna allowed the petition filed by K. Sajan Aiyappa and quashed the final notice dated 28.12.2022 issued by the Deputy Commissioner, which directs the petitioner to divulge the minimum qualifying marks of his claim of him being a Renowned Shooter.
It said “The communication impugned is neither here nor there. It does not consider the application nor seeks any relevant information. It is issued only to drag the issue further. On that score it is rendered unsustainable.”
The petitioner claims to be a Renowned Shooter and has participated in several shooting events both at the National Level and State Level competitions. Further, he claimed to be a life member of the National Rifle Association of India and said he would come within the definition of ‘Renowned Shooter’ in terms of the Arms Rules, 2016.
He submitted an application to the Deputy Commissioner seeking additional weapons on 21.09.2020. After about three years, the impugned communication was issued.
The petitioner argued that he being a renowned shooter is entitled to possess 10 Arms. He now possesses three arms and had applied for four additional Arms. He submitted that on one pretext or the other the respondents were dodging the issue.
The government opposed the plea saying the petitioner can possess only two arms in terms of the schedule appended to the Arms Act and therefore, the request made to add four more arms to his number is untenable.
The bench referred to Section 3 of the Arms Act and the 2016 Rules made under it and said “Clause (2) deals with international medalists/renowned shooters (renowned shot). Clause (4) deals with an Aspiring Shooter.”
Refusing to accept the government’s contention that Petitioner’s case falls under Clause (4) [Aspiring Shooter], the court held, “The petitioner claims to be a Renowned Shooter. The claim appears to be tenable in the light of the fact that he had participated in several events both State and National Level, which would qualify him to be a Renowned Shooter. If the fact that the petitioner is a Renowned Shooter is not in dispute, what would kick in is Clause 2(a) of the schedule and not Clause (4), as is contended by the learned High Court Government Pleader.”
It added “In terms of Clause (2), any Renowned Shooter would become entitled to possession of ten weapons i.e., eight for sporting events and two as normal citizen under sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the Act. Therefore, the petitioner is well within the statutory claim made for possession of four more arms.”
Further it said “The petitioner comes under the category of a Renowned Shooter under sub-rule (c) of Rule 40, a Renowned Shooter is entitled to hold one lakh ammunition. The petitioner is now seeking 25,000 ammunition for the usage of the arms. Therefore, all the claims of the petitioner are within four walls of the statute.”
Accordingly it allowed the petition.
Appearance: Advocate Praveen S for Petitioner
HCGP Spoorthy Hegde for Respondents.
Citation No: 2024 LiveLaw (Kar) 50
Case Title: K Sajan Aiyappa AND Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Kodogu District.
Case No: Writ Petition No 6359 of 2023.