BHOPAL: “Guruduwara, though open to public, is not a public place, it is a private place where there is Prakash of Gurugranth Sahib. ….This is a case (PIL) of misguided person” – a division bench of Madhya Pradesh High court at Jabalpur ruled while dismissing a petition filed against CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday.
A Sikh charged under the Arms Act for allegedly keeping a sword in place of a ‘kripan’ had moved the court claiming that Chouhan too was liable for a similar case since he was gifted a sword during a religious ceremony held in Bhopal on January 5.
“What is prohibited in the notification dated November 22, 1974 is acquisition, possession, or carrying of sharp edged weapons in a public place. The sword was gifted to the chief minister when he visited the Gurudwara on the 350th Birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji, and was not carried in public place,” ruled the division bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Atul Shreedharan.
“The prohibition is in respect of a blade more than 6 inches long or 2 inches wide or it has to be spring actuated knives with a blade of any size. The ceremonial gift given to a visiting dignitary cannot be said to be an offence as it was not carried in public place,” the court ruled, adding it’s a “case of misguided person who has filed this petition”.
Petitioner Ajit Singh alias Mange Sardar of Jabalpur had written to the DGP that the law says any blade longer than 9 inches is considered a weapon even if a Sikh carries it. But Sikh religious leaders have gifted the CM a sword longer than 9 inches, he said.
Ajit Singh is charged with carrying a sword. He filed a revision petition in district court, which gave him relief, but the revision order was dismissed by the high court. He has attached the same HC order with his complaint.