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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Sessions court accepts appeal, acquits man booked under Arms Act

Gurpreet Singh Mehak , Hindustan Times  Fatehgarh Sahib, November 19, 2013
First Published: 00:58 IST(19/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:59 IST(19/11/2013)

The Sessions Judge court, Fatehgarh Sahib, while accepting appeal of Karam Singh (45), originally hailing from Amritsar and now a resident of village Ranian (Ludhiana) acquitted him. He was earlier convicted under Section 25 of the Arms Act and directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year and imposed a fine of Rs. 1,000 by the court of chief judicial magistrate(CJM), Fatehgarh Sahib.

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The Case

According to the police, Hans Raj, then incharge, special operation cell, Fatehgarh Sahib accompanied by Satwinder Singh and other police officials arrested Karam Singh who was accompanied by Sukhwinder Singh (now dead) near village Talania on August 19, 2005 on charges of possessing a 9 mm country made pistol and a live cartridge. He could not produce any licence or permit to carry the country made pistol.

Karam Singh submitted before the court that he was falsely implicated in the case as he was produced by Sarabjit Singh, the then sarpanch of Bhaini Sahib, before the police in connection with investigation of some vehicles. Police had brought him from village Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana) and had got his pistol tested from Sher Singh Armour. The CJM court convicted him and during his appeal, Karam's counsel submitted before sessions court, Armour's statement proving the pistol allegedly recovered from the accused was different from that examined by the Armour.

In the FIR as well as in the recovery memo, it was mentioned that cartridge could be loaded in front barrel of the pistol. However, Armour had stated in cross examination that it had checked the pistol and that the cartridge could be loaded in the chamber of the pistol and not with the barrel. The Armour report shows that though he had reported that pistol is in working order, but it has not stated that it had conducted any test the same. In cross examination, he further stated that he had not test-fired the pistol.

The sessions judge observed that as per the prosecution, the accused was seen coming on foot near village Talania and the police party was on private vehicle. It is highly unlikely for someone to walk carrying an illegal pistol in a remote area without any purpose.

Policeman Satwinder Singh, when subjected to cross examination stated that he does not know the make of the private vehicle in which they were riding, neither can he attest to the owner of that vehicle. His accomplice Hans Raj stated it was a Zen car, but he did not know the number of the car. He denied remembering the owner of the car, despite stating that the car belonged to someone close to him.

Based on these dubious evidences produced in the court, the judge observed that the prosecution's case is beyond all reasonable doubts. So Karam was granted benefit of doubt and acquitted.

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