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SC questions gun licence to security firms

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 22, 2012
First Published: 00:26 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(22/11/2012)

Taking suo motu cognizance of the shootout that resulted in the death of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep Singh, the Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern over the use of firearms by private security guards.

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A bench of justice DK Jain and justice KS Khehar issued notice to the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and sought to know whether there were guidelines governing use of weapons by private security guards.

Though the apex court did not mention the incident in its order, it said: “A recent firing incident, widely reported in the press, resulting in the death of two persons, allegedly on account of use of firearms by some private security personnel is a matter of grave concern. It raises serious issues regarding the role of security agencies, especially the private ones. Some of the questions are of great public importance and need to be urgently addressed.”

The court fixed December 6 to hear the matter further and directed the MHA to file an affidavit explaining the legal framework under which private security agencies operate and questioned the manner in which firearms licences are given to private security guards.

The apex court also sought to know the parameters for issue of firearms licence to private security personnel, guidelines for use of such firearms and if there were no guidelines in this regard, whether it was necessary to frame regulations.

The court also questioned the rights and duties of private guards under the law.

Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep were killed in a shootout at the latter’s DLF Chhatarpur farmhouse on Saturday.


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