December 9, 2019
Kalyan Banerjee speaks on The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019
Madam, so far as the new Bill is concerned, in Clause 2 (E-A), a new provision has been made for granting license right. But my question is what are the guidelines for granting such licenses? Who will get the license? What are the criteria? Who will get it? Make the guidelines stricter for issuance of license.
I find that the Bill that has been brought, is commensurate with the judgments delivered by the Supreme Court in 2012. I will come to what they said about it, later. I need some clarifications, but before that I want to reveal two facts. The seizure of illegal weapons has increased by 11.5% between 2014-2015. In Unauthorized Arms Act, under which have recovery and seizures have been done, the state with highest numbers is UP(Uttar Pradesh). Among the total seizures, 46% arms that is 27,850 arms have been seized in UP, up to 2016, as per NSRB disclosures. Then in second position comes Madhya Pradesh with 9,269. Next is Rajasthan with 6,840. West Bengal comes next with 3,311 and next comes Bihar with 2,821.
So far as Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, they are the two top states in the country where the respective district administrations have issued more than 3 lakh gun licenses. Now the question that comes with it is what should be the criteria and who will get the license? Madam, at present, 7 persons are arrested in India every hour with illegal weapons. That is the situation of the country now.
Now I’m seeking certain clarifications, and if it is required to spell it out, you can do so in the future when the rules will be framed. The security agencies, who are providing private security guards, are carrying firearms. The question is whether these firearms in possession of the private security guards are with license and authorised or not? Now a days it has turned into a status. Few rich people, some politicians, are keeping private security guards with firearms.
Now, firearms will be issued to whom? Firearms will not be issued to a person to protect or guard any other person. The point is, now even the police, when they carry firearms, it is not seen by the people at large but for the private security, when they go, first you will see the firearms. As if black cat status has been given to them.
That is the impression of the people in general. Let us assume one can, even for self-defence, use a firearm. If one has hired a security man, even if he is attacked and the private security person is not attacked, can he use? There must be checks and balances there. I will request the hon’ble minister to look into this subject, which is now a big phenomenon.
Next is to have private security guards with arms. So far the security agency is concerned, do you, I mean rules or Acts, permit such types of licence to any security agency. Who hire people and give the firearms for the purpose? This is a matter of great concern now.
Illegal trading of arms has increased. Now a days, we find that even a child, minor child, carrying illegal arms. One month back, one incident had been reported. I have forgotten the name of the State. A minor boy had fallen in love with a girl. That girl loved another person. And that boy who was carrying the firearm killed the girl. This has to be stopped. How it can be stopped?
Another phenomenon is the manufacture of the illegal firearms. I have told you, UP, Patna, Jammu & Kashmir, Munger district of Bihar – have become a hub of manufacturing illegal firearms. Why is it prevalent in the border areas? Border Security Forces are not very much proactive to see firearms when they are illegally transferred. In the border areas, Border Security Forces have to be proactive. These are the places where this has to be done very seriously.
Madam, I just have pointed out that Azamgarh and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh have acquired notoriety as manufacturing arms. The gun that killed Gulshan Kumar was a ‘made-in-Bamhaur’ weapon. Steps have to be taken in these contexts.
Madam, I point out to you that I initially started with that. The Supreme Court has passed an Order, a Bench of Justice Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Mishra said:
“ Proliferation of arms and ammunition, whether licensed or not, in the country disrupts the social order and development, vitiates law and order situation, directly contributes towards lethality of violent acts which needs to be curbed.” but “law enforcing agencies and to a certain extent the courts in the country always treat the crimes lightly without noticing the havoc they can create to the ordinary peace loving citizens of this country and to the national security and the integrity and the unity of this nation.”
The Supreme Court again said, stressing the importance of awarding at least the minimum sentence three years. You have made it five years, I think. Therefore, this is commensurate with the views expressed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Today’s problem is that it has to be stopped. If central forces and agencies could be more proactive in border areas it could be stopped. As far as illegal transfer of arms is concerned, BSF has to be more proactive.
I must say that from three to one, it is decreasing. Earlier it was three, now it has gone down to 1, it’s good. Rather you can make it one. Why? What is the necessity? Any perfect man doesn’t require any arm. We don’t require any arm. If this government is giving the security, it’s alright. Why it is required? It is not required at all.
Now, you know about the Rifle Club, where shooters are trained. What is your guideline and what is your criteria so far as the Rifle Club is concerned? So far the Arms Act is concerned because they need to keep the arms.
Now, another thing is this regarding the dealers, who will be dealing with the arms and ammunitions. What are the criteria? How are they checked? What are the guidelines, how it can be done? These are the points or clarifications I want to seek from the hon’ble minister. If he gives a reply, I will be happy.
This type of illegal arms trading business, carrying on illegal trade, and keeping private security guards as a status symbol – as if they are black cats – kindly stop it. Bouncers also. Why will the bouncer carry arms? Now a days all actors, singers have so many bouncers with arms. Why? Kindly make a comprehensive law in this regard. I will make a request to you.
Thank you, Madam.