New Delhi: Celebratory firing of arms during marriage processions is proving to be a killer for innocent people and there is a need to tighten the procedure for grant of arms licence and also ensure that it is not misused, a Delhi court has observed.
Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain made the observation while handing down a 25-month jail term to 35-year-old Jasbir Chauhan, who fired in the air at his friend's wedding in Burari area here, killing the groom's uncle.
"Firing with guns and pistols during marriage processions has become a sort of fashion. If this is happening in the capital city, it will be certainly in a larger proportion in rural or remote areas.
"This is proving to be a killer for innocent fellow- baraatis and even on-lookers. It's high time that government tightens the procedure for grant of arms-licence and also evolves a robust mechanism to ensure that these licences are not misused," the judge said.
Besides the jail term, the court also imposed a fine of Rs three lakh on the convict, directing that it be paid to the victim's wife.
"Such an act of firing was not evidently intentional but he certainly had knowledge that he was holding a dangerous weapon. It was a loaded one. He was not firing in any deserted place. It was rather a marriage procession..." it said.
The court also observed that some guests, to show-off and unnecessarily demonstrate their jubilation, "take pride in firing in air" from their licensed fire-arms which they feel to be their prized possession.
"Little do they realise that such a thing is neither desirable nor legal and can also kill someone. This is what precisely happened in the case in hand," it said.
While awarding the punishment, the court said that though the act was not intentional, Jasbir had knowledge that it could kill someone.
"Keeping in mind the facts and circumstances of the case, I hereby sentence the convict to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 25 months under Section 304(II) (culpable homicide without intention but with knowledge of consequences of act) of IPC and he would deposit Rs three lakh in court as compensation," it said.
According to the prosecution, on January 21, 2012, at the marriage procession of his friend, Jasbir had fired in celebration with the bullet hitting the groom's uncle, Ranbir, who died before reaching the hospital.