While sentencing a man accused of killing two persons in a celebratory firing to ten years rigorous imprisonment, the Supreme Court expressed its concerns about the rising incidents of celebratory firing. The bench headed by CJI SA Bobde observed thus:
“Incidents of celebratory firing are regretfully rising, for they are seen as a status symbol. A gun licensed for self-protection or safety and security of crops and cattle cannot be fired in celebratory events, it being a potential cause of fatal accidents. Such misuse of firearms converts a happy event to a pall of gloom.”
“It was an unfortunate case of misfiring. The appellant of course cannot absolve himself of the conclusion that he carried a loaded gun at a crowded place where his own guests had gathered to attend the marriage ceremony. He did not take any reasonable safety measures like to fire the shot in the air or towards the sky, rather he invited full risk and aimed the gun towards the roof and fired the shot. He was expected to know that pellets could cause multiple gunshot injuries to the nearby persons even if a single shot was fired. The appellant is, thus, guilty of an act, the likely consequences of which including causing fatal injuries to the persons being in a closed circuit, are attributable to him. The offence committed by the appellant, thus, would amount to ‘culpable homicide’ within the meaning of Section 299, though punishable under Section 304 Part 2 of the IPC.”
The bench, therefore, convicted him under Section 304 Part 2 and sentenced him to ten years rigorous imprisonment.