Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has refused to quash an FIR registered against a 22-year-old student from Chennai for possessing one live cartridge in his baggage.
A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Milind Sathaye recently rejected a petition by Praveen Kanakraja, a resident of Tamil Nadu, observing, “In our opinion, this is not a fit case for making any interference in the matter.”
The HC was hearing a petition by Kanakraja seeking quashing of the FIR filed against him at the Sahar Police Station for possessing a live cartridge on September 3, 2021, under various sections of the Arms Act. He was on his way from Mumbai to Chennai.
Kanakraja’s advocate submitted that the live cartridge recovered from his bag was not within his knowledge and therefore, it cannot be said that Kanakraja was in “conscious possession” of the live cartridge and as such, no offence punishable under provisions of the Arms Act is constituted.
''The prosecution opposed the plea stating that when the petitioner was asked about the cartridge, he said that when he was in the US, he and a friend had visited a club there where they fired 10 cartridges each with rifle, pistol and shotgun. He further said that he had retained one round and his friend had retained two empty shells'' Additional Public Prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde said.
''This clearly shows that Kanakraja was in conscious possession of the cartridge,'' Shinde said.
The bench observed that even if it does not consider the petitioner’s admission about having knowledge of the cartridge, the submission pertaining to “conscious possession or no conscious possession” is something that was required to be decided on merits at the time of trial.
Besides, there was no dispute about the fact that the bag containing the live cartridge belonged to Kanakraja, the court noted. “Therefore, there would be presumption in law that whatever is found to be contained in the bag is owned by the petitioner,” the court added.
Hence, the court dismissed the petition saying that the same was without any substance.
About the petitioner
The petitioner completed his Bachelor degree in Business Administration (BBA) in Supply Chain Management from Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He and his friend, after completion of their degree courses, were searching for jobs. Since they did not get the jobs, they returned to India. Kanakraja is pursuing an MBA from PSG College Coimbatore University affiliated with Kentucky University, United States.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)