Ban sought on “celebratory firing”, notice issued on PIL

Delhi High Court: A public interest litigation has been filed by a poor tea vendor praying for a ban on “celebratory firing”  which resulted in the  death of his 17 year old daughter, who happened to be watching a marriage procession from the balcony of his house. In view of the increase in the numbers of such deaths caused by unrestrained and indiscriminate celebratory firing in the air in public gatherings, marriage parties, religious places and other functions, the PIL was filed as a public cause.

The petitioner contended that this practice amounted to causing terror in general public and was in violation of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, which included the right to live with dignity. Dignity wold be compromised if one is not allowed to live a terror-free life.

The petitioner contended that “Some baraatis, as a show-off and to unnecessarily demonstrate their jubilation, take pride in firing in air from their licensed firearms which they feel as their prized possession. Little do they realise that such firing is neither desirable nor legal and can also kill someone.”

Setting out several suggestions in the PIL, the petitioner prayed for a direction to the Delhi Police Commissioner to ensure that no incident of celebratory firing should go unattended and unpunished. Indulging in such firing was also suggested to be made an offence, with punishment as jail term and the convict be made to pay adequate compensation to the victim or his kin. He also prayed that the Union of India be directed to frame stringent policy/rules/guidelines to curb the obnoxious practice of celebratory firing and also to devolve a robust mechanism to ensure that the firearm licences are not misused and in the event of such misuse, the licence of such persons should be cancelled. The Court has issued notice. [Shyam Sunder Kausal v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Crl. ) No. 4057 of 2016]

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