The Bombay high court (HC) has sought a clarification on the nature of the circular the state plans to issue to regulate the possession and confiscation of dummy weapons.
Rafiq Kalsekar had filed a petition after the customs authorities confiscated his imported starter guns and air guns last year. Kalsekar's lawyer, Taraq Sayed, had told the court that the guns were imported from Germany as the ones available in India were of inferior quality. The petitioner had said that the guns were freely available in Crawford Market and hence there was no reason why the authorities should confiscate the dummy weapons.
In response to the petition, the state informed the court that it planned to issue a circular on the possession and confiscation of dummy weapons. Additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamat Pai said that the state would also go through a 1999 HC judgment that had laid down guidelines on the use of dummy weapons for film shooting.
The court, however, was of the view that issuing a circular cannot act as the basis of confiscation. "There is nothing in the Arms Act or the Police Act that empowers the state to confiscate dummy guns," the division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice PD Kode pointed out.
"There should be some law by which you can retain goods or you can amend your act and apply it retrospectively," the court suggested.
During an earlier hearing, the petitioner had contended that as per the central government rules, dummy weapons could be imported without any duty. The court, however, stated that import comes under the jurisdiction of customs.