July 6, 2024 In Uncategorized



In a recent ruling on CRL.M.C. 6424/2022 dated July 1, 2024, titled Inder Singh Solanki Vs. State of NCT of Delhi & Anr., the High Court of Delhi dismissed a petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.), which concerns the inherent powers of the High Court. Petitioner Inder Singh Solanki sought to challenge an order by the Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) of Patiala House Courts, New Delhi, which directed the framing of an additional charge against him under Section 30 of the Arms Act, 1959 (Punishment for contravention of license or rule).


The petition stems from an incident involving FIR No. 95/2021 at Police Station Sagarpur, South-West District, Delhi. On February 26, 2021, the complainant (Respondent No. 2) noticed a gas pipeline work outside his house, and the petitioner was obstructing the workers. When the complainant intervened, a quarrel ensued. The Petitioner then took out his licensed revolver from his bag, pointed it at the complainant, and threatened to kill him. The complainant called the police, reporting the immediate threat. Solanki faced charges under Sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, along with Section 30 of the Arms Act. Initially, the Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House Courts discharged Solanki from the Arms Act charge but proceeded with charges under Sections 336 and 506 of the IPC.

Additional Sessions Judge’s Order

The ASJ’s Order dated October 29, 2022, effectively overturned the Magistrate’s decision regarding the Arms Act. By classifying the case as a revision petition rather than an appeal, the ASJ directed the trial court to frame the charge under Section 30 of the Arms Act, pertaining to the contravention of license or permit conditions related to firearms. The ASJ stated:

“10. In case the Ld. Trial Court was of the view that the respondent/accused threatened the complainant with his licensed revolver and endangered the life and personal safety of others, I fail to understand how the Ld. Trial Court concluded that there is nothing in the charge-sheet to show that the respondent/accused misused the licensed revolver. Threatening a person in public with a licensed revolver and endangering life and personal safety is clearly a misuse of the licensed revolver.

  1. As per the complainant’s statement, when he asked the workers to continue the work, stating it was on government land and not on the respondent/accused’s land, the respondent/accused lost his temper, took out his licensed revolver, and threatened to kill the complainant. Therefore, the respondent/accused brandished his licensed revolver in public and threatened the complainant. Prima facie, the respondent/accused violated the provisions of Rule 32(3) of the Arms Rule 2016 and committed an offense punishable under Section 30 of the Arms Act.”

Petitioner’s Argument

Solanki’s counsel, Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Sr. Advocate, argued against the ASJ’s Order, contending that the evidence did not justify the additional charge under the Arms Act. The primary defense was that the trial court’s initial decision to discharge the Arms Act charge should have been upheld due to insufficient basis for including it.

Prosecution’s Stand

The Prosecution, represented by Mr. Aman Usman, APP, argued that the additional charge was warranted based on the available evidence. They emphasized the seriousness of the offense, involving the brandishing of a firearm and threatening public workers engaged in laying a gas pipeline, which prima facie constituted a violation under Section 30 of the Arms Act.

High Court’s Analysis

Justice Navin Chawla, presiding over the case, reaffirmed that at the stage of framing charges, the court is not expected to conduct a detailed analysis of the evidence. Instead, the court’s role is to determine whether there is a prima facie case against the accused to proceed to trial.

The High Court found that the ASJ had correctly assessed the evidence. The ASJ’s decision to frame an additional charge under Section 30 of the Arms Act was based on allegations that Solanki brandished a firearm and threatened public workers. If proven, this act would clearly violate the conditions of his firearm license. Justice Chawla noted that the ASJ’s order relied on prima facie findings, appropriate at the stage of framing charges.

The High Court also addressed the procedural aspect of the ASJ’s order, which treated the matter as a revision petition. Justice Chawla clarified that the ASJ was within their jurisdiction to review the Magistrate’s decision and direct the framing of an additional charge. The classification of the proceedings as a revision allowed the ASJ to re-examine the evidence and correct any potential oversight in the Magistrate’s initial assessment.

Furthermore, Justice Chawla elaborated on the relevance and necessity of the additional charge under the Arms Act. The potential misuse of a firearm as alleged posed significant risks to public safety and warranted serious legal scrutiny. The inclusion of the additional charge ensured that all aspects of the alleged offense were thoroughly addressed during the trial, aligning with the legal standards for maintaining public safety and adherence to firearm regulations.


The High Court found no merit in the petition, supporting the ASJ’s directive to frame the additional charge under the Arms Act. The Court clarified that observations made in its order dated July 1, 2024, should not influence the trial court’s conduct during the trial.

The High Court thus upheld the ASJ’s order to frame the additional charge under Section 30 of the Arms Act, ensuring that the trial would comprehensively address all aspects of the alleged offense.


Kartik Khandekar
Senior Associate
The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services


Editors Comments

The High Court’s affirmation of the ASJ’s decision to reframe the charge under Section 30 of the Arms Act demonstrates procedural robustness. The ASJ appropriately utilized the revision petition mechanism to correct what was perceived as an oversight by the trial court.

The High Court’s affirmation of the ASJ’s decision to reframe the charge under Section 30 of the Arms Act demonstrates procedural importance that ought to be followed by courts. This case demonstrates the judiciary’s commitment to ensure that all charges with substantial prima facie evidence are appropriately considered particularly when public safety is at stake.

Sushila Ram Varma

Chief Consultant

The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services

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