Friday, March 31, 2023

Allahabad High Court denies anticipatory bail to Mau Sadar MLA Abbas Ansari

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The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of Mau Sadar MLA Abbas Ansari, the son of Mukhtar Ansari, in connection with the Arms License case.

A single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application filed by Abbas Ansari.

The application under Section 438 CrPC has been filed by the accused-applicant, Abbas Ansari, a sitting Member of Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh from Mau Assembly Constituency, apprehending his arrest in Criminal Case under sections 420, 467, 468, and 471 IPC and Section 30 Arms Act, Police Station Mahanagar, District Lucknow, pending before the Court of the Special Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (MP/MLA Cases), Lucknow after his Anticipatory Bail Application was rejected by the Additional Sessions Judge, Lucknow/Special Court, MP/MLA, District Lucknow vide order dated 4.8.2022.

The facts of the prosecution case as given in the FIR dated 12.10.2019 registered under Sections 420, 467, 468, and 471 IPC and Section 30 Arms Act, Police Station Mahanagar, District Lucknow, are that the accused-applicant was issued Arm License PS- Mahanagar / Lucknow in 2012 for a 12 bore DBBL Gun.

On an application given to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing Unit), New Delhi, the license was transferred and registered at the address of the accused-applicant, Abbas Ansari, S/o Mukhtar Ansari at Ganpati Niwas, Kishangarh, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.

The accused-applicant, who is claiming himself to be a renowned shooter, got seven more weapons endorsed on the said license.

It is alleged that the accused-applicant got the arm license issued by the District Magistrate, Lucknow transferred to New Delhi without giving any prior information regarding the same to the authorities at Lucknow and did not inform the concerned Police Station, i.e Mahanagar Police Station, and for that reason, one firearm is shown to be registered concurrently at two States at different arms license having different UIDs.

It is further alleged that the accused-applicant deliberately concealed the said information from the authorities, including the police station, with an intention to illegally buy and use the firearms.

Further allegation is that the accused-applicant has purchased and got registered several weapons on the said license illegally and in an unauthorized manner. As many as 4431 cartridges were recovered from the possession of the accused-applicant by police and many of these cartridges are metal jacketed. As a shooter, keeping metal jacketed cartridges for shooting purposes, is against the law and against the standard prescribed by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).

The counsel for the accused-applicant submitted that the accused applicant is targeted for being the son of Mukhtar Ansari for political reasons as the present dispensation is inimical to and hostile to the family of the accused-applicant. Accused applicant has not committed any offence, but he is being framed, and the State Government and the police are making him a criminal by implicating him in several false and frivolous cases.

The counsel for the accused-applicant has further submitted that the accused-applicant was given a firearm license by the District Magistrate, Lucknow for DBBL Gun on 21.9.2012. The said license was valid upto 24.9.2015. The accused-applicant being a shooter, shifted to New Delhi for better practice and training to enhance his shooting skills as he was pursuing his career in sports (shooting).

Keeping the aforesaid in mind, the accused-applicant had applied for transfer of his arm license from Lucknow to New Delhi and moved an application before the Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing Unit), New Delhi. Based on the said application, the Licensing Authority, New Delhi issued a letter dated 10.4.2015 to the District Magistrate, Lucknow for verification of the firearm license issued by him to the accused-applicant. The District Magistrate, Lucknow issued “No Objection Certificate” for the said firearm license dated 4.8.2015.

Accused-applicant being a national level sports person (shooting) is entitled to keep seven firearms as per the Government of India’s Notification dated 4.8.2014 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and two firearms as a normal citizen of India as per sub-section(2) of Section 3 of the Arms Act.

The counsel for the accused-applicant has further submitted that though the FIR was registered only under Section 420 IPC and Section 30 of Arms Act, but during investigation, offences under Sections 467, 468 and 471 IPC have been added without there being any iota of evidence for commission of such an offence by the accused-applicant. During investigation, statements of Rajeev Bhatia, Secretary, National Rifle Association of India and Dhillon, Punjab Rifle Association were recorded by the Investigating Officer, who clearly mentioned that the accused-applicant was a renowned shooter for several years and had been given permission from the National Rifle Association of India to import arms. The Investigating Officer had presumed that the accused-applicant would use the aforesaid arms and ammunition for illegal activities, and he had acquired these weapons by illegal means. There is no basis for such a presumption. On the basis of the presumption, a person cannot be made accused of offences under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC.

The counsel for the accused-applicant also submitted that the accused-applicant is a law-abiding citizen. He was not arrested by the Investigating Officer during investigation, and it would violate his fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 20 and 21 of the Constitution of India, if he is arrested in the aforesaid case. It is further submitted that considering the aforesaid facts, the accused applicant be granted anticipatory bail in Crime under Section 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC.

On the other hand, Anurag Varma, AGA appearing with V.K. Shahi, Additional Advocate General for the State, has opposed the anticipatory bail application and submitted that the accused-applicant has as many as seven criminal cases, including the present one.

AGA submitted that the accused applicant has said in the application that he has no criminal antecedents. He has concealed the true and correct facts from the Court. He got the license transferred from Lucknow to New Delhi by giving false and incorrect facts. He filed an affidavit on 14.10.2019 before the Licensing Authority, New Delhi that he was residing at Ganpati Niwas, Kishangarh, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070 for the last three years. The affidavit would read as if the said address was his permanent address.

The accused-applicant was not a resident of New Delhi, but he used to visit New Delhi occasionally. He had taken the said house on rent which consists of one room, bathroom and small terrace on 5th Floor. The landlady in her statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. has said that the accused-applicant would visit the said address once in two-three months. He was not staying in the said house.

AGA has further submitted that these facts once came to the notice of the Licensing Authority i.e Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing Unit), New Delhi, and the Licensing Authority finding the serious nature of multiple violations of the terms and conditions of Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 2016, had cancelled the License issued to the accused-applicant vide order dated 26.8.2021.

It has been further submitted that it is well settled law that an absconder/fugitive of law is not entitled for anticipatory bail. The accused-applicant has been avoiding the process of the Court.

“From the facts as narrated above, it is evident that summons were issued to the accused-applicant on 8.1.2021, 3.2.2021, 2.3.2021, 7.7.2021, 7.9.2021, 8.11.2021, 18.1.2022 by the Magistrate, but he failed to appear before the court.  Bailable warrants were issued by the Magistrate on 4.4.2022, 21.5.2022, but the accused applicant again did not pay any heed to appear before the court concerned. Thereafter, non-bailable warrants were issued against the accused-applicant on 15.7.2022, 27.7.2022 and 11.8.2022, but the accused-applicant did not surrender before the court, and the court having no option, issued proclamation under Section 82 CrPC on 25.8.2022.

Considering the serious allegations that accused-applicant got registered his arm license fraudulently and obtained prohibited Barrels, weapons and cartridges in large numbers by taking ground of shooting; and he has purchased weapons and cartridges, which are prohibited in shooting practice and against the Notification dated 4.8.2014 of the Government of India, and also considering the fact that accused-applicant has been avoiding the process of the Court, against whom proclamation has been issued, the Court does not find any ground to grant anticipatory bail to the accused-applicant,” the Court observed while rejecting tha anticipatory bail application.

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