Arms glorification: Furnish comprehensive data, or join proceedings through VC, High Court tells Punjab DGP : The Tribune India

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Arms glorification: Furnish comprehensive data, or join proceedings through VC, High Court tells Punjab DGP

Development is significant as no less than 34,768 arms licences have been issued from October 1, 2019, to December 31, 2023

Arms glorification: Furnish comprehensive data, or join proceedings through VC, High Court tells Punjab DGP

Justice Harkesh Manuja observed more than a month had passed, yet complete information had not been provided by the state. Tribune file



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, May 15

More than a month after the Punjab and Haryana High Court called for information on existence of protocol, guideline or criteria under the Arms Act of 1959 for granting “armed license” in Punjab, Justice Harkesh Manuja has asked the state’s Director-General of Police to join the proceedings through video-conferencing following the failure to file a comprehensive affidavit by the next date of hearing.

Justice Manuja observed more than a month had passed, yet complete information had not been provided by the state.

Among other things, the Bench during the course of hearing had called for all-inclusive data on the pervasive phenomenon of arms glorification on the social media platforms.

The Bench had, in fact, called for complete data spanning five years on the FIRs registered and action taken against individuals brandishing weapons on the social media platforms.

The state was also asked to clarify whether steps had been initiated for cancelling arms licences of persons named in the FIRs and charge-sheeted for glorifying arms.

“The affidavit must disclose as to how many FIRs have been registered against individuals who have uploaded their pictures glorifying arms on the social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram in the last five years,” Justice Manuja had asserted.

As the matter came up for resumed hearing, Justice Manuja observed: “In case the affidavit with complete information is not filed on or before the next date of hearing, the Director-General of Police, Punjab, is requested to join the proceedings in the case through videoconferencing.…”

The development is significant as no less than 34,768 arms licences have been issued from October 1, 2019, to December 31, 2023. Justice Manuja has already asked the state to specify in the affidavit whether the licences issued during the period have been reconsidered by the relevant authority.

In his initial order passed a month back, Justice Manuja had also asked the police chief to specify the number of surprise visits conducted in each district since November 2022 to check the display of firearms in public functions.

He was further asked to give detail of the steps taken to ensure “that the report of the officer in charge of the nearest police station as required under section 13(2) of the Arms Act, 1959 is not being manipulated”.

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