Court convicts ex-Army man of murder by tracing pistol ownership

Judge says investigating officers need to be sensitised to importance of firearm tracing

‘Every firearm tells a story’, a sessions court in Nuh said, convicting a former Army official for shooting dead a man over a trivial dispute after tracing the ownership of the murder weapon through the Unique Identification Number engraved on the pistol.

Additional sessions judge Prashant Rana, while sentencing the convict Khalid to life imprisonment, also stressed that the investigating officers and the public prosecutors need to be sensitised to the importance of firearm tracing and its role in justice delivery system.

The judge noted that there was a delay in dispensation of justice, of around one year, in this case on account of lapse of the Investigating Officer in tracing the ownership of the recovered firearm.

The court said the pistol was recovered from Khalid and it bore a unique identification number through which the Investigating Officer could have easily proved the ownership and chain of custody of the weapon of offence, but he did not do so.

“The lapse of the Investigating Officer may have been wilful and deliberate or on account of lack of training,” the judge said.

The court said that in every police station there is a register which contains the details of all the arm licences and weapons issued to citizens in its jurisdictional area. There is also a national portal, NDAL (National Database On Arms Licence), which contains a database of arms licences.

These sources may be tapped to trace a firearm, the court said, adding, “It is essential that the investigating officers and the public prosecutors are sensitised to the importance of firearm tracing and its role in justice delivery system”.

The case of the prosecution is that on September 2, 2018, Khalid along with, Aaadil, Aaakil and Aalim, three brothers of deceased Aamil Rashid, had gone to Tain village to play a volleyball match. The contributory prize money was ₹9,800, to be given to the winning team. The money was deposited with Khalid but he refused to give the same to the winning team.

On this point, there was an altercation between Aadil, Aakil and Aalim, the brothers of Rashid, and Khalid, who threatened them.

On the same day, Khalid, and some other persons went near the house of Rashid in Bisru village and fired a gun shot at the victim, who died two days later. Khalid was arrested on September 6, 2018, and upon his disclosure the murder weapon was recovered.

However, Khalid later denied the charges and claimed innocence. He said he had nothing to do with the alleged weapon of offence, nor it was ever recovered, as alleged by police.

The court, however, convicted Khalid based on the dying declaration of Rashid, weapon recovered from him and the matching ballistics report.

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