‘Police acted in irresponsible manner’: Court raps cops in Arms Act case, grants bail to accused

Observing that the “police acted in highly irresponsible manner”, a Delhi court on Wednesday pulled up the cops for procuring a sanction of a district magistrate while filing a police report in a criminal case.

The observations were made by Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Kumar while granting bail to Saleem Khan in an Arms Act case.

Stating that the custody of the accused in jail was “doubtful”, the court observed, “The police has acted in a highly irresponsible manner in filing the police report without obtaining sanctions under Section 39 of Act 54 of 1959, especially when the sole offence alleged against the accused is under Section 3 read with 25 of Act 54 of 1959 and no other. The accused has been in custody since 09.4.2021.”

Section 39 of the Arms Act states that previous sanction of the district magistrate is necessary in certain cases. The Act states that “no prosecution shall be instituted against any person in respect of any offence under Section 3 without the previous sanction of the district magistrate”.

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As per the prosecution’s case, Khan was arrested on April 8, 2021, on the basis of secret information by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police. Four illegal firearms and a cache of ammunition were allegedly seized from him.

Advocate AA Khan, who appeared on behalf of the accused, submitted CCTV footage procured from the Public Works Department to state that the accused person was not arrested by the police as per the circumstances mentioned and “instead he was illegally lifted from East Vinod Nagar”.

The prosecution, however, argued that if the accused would be granted bail, “he may indulge in illegal activities and jump the bail”.

The Court noted that “without obtaining the previous sanction of the district magistrate… the police report was filed before the duty metropolitan magistrate, who, without taking into account the fact that the case was pertaining to offence under Section 3 of Act 54 of 1959, no prosecution could be instituted against the accused without the previous sanction of the district magistrate… received the police report and directed the same be placed for consideration before the court concerned on 17.6.2021.”

“Since then, till today, cognizance of offence has not been taken… and the accused is in jail,” the Court added.

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