The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the response of all States, Union Territories, and the Union Home Ministry, in a suo motu case concerning the proliferation of unlicensed firearms [Rajendra Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh].
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna noted in its order that issue was a serious one affecting each citizen’s right to life.
“States/Union Territories will indicate the steps taken to deal with the menace of unlicensed firearms and the number of cases over the years.”
The Director General of Police of all States were asked to file separate affidavits on these two aspects.
The Home Ministry was directed to file its counter-affidavit on the implementation of the Arms Act and suggestions to strengthen the same.
The matter will be heard next after three weeks.
The Court had in February taken suo motu cognisance of the possession and use of unlicensed firearms in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
While hearing a bail plea by a 73-year-old man accused of murdering a person by firing a gun, the bench had taken note of the menace in UP.
The Court had then directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to file an affidavit on the number of cases registered for the possession and use of unlicensed firearms. Additionally, it had also sought the State’s stand on the steps taken to tackle this issue.
The Court had also appointed Senior Advocate S Nagamuthu Amicus Curiae in the matter.
The Amicus today suggested taking the inputs of other States as it was a national issue, after which the bench proceeded to pass its order.