Kodavas can carry firearms without a license: Karnataka HC

Kodavas can carry firearms without a license: Karnataka HC

On Wednesday the constitutional validity of the privilege granted to the Kodavas was upheld by the Karnataka High Court granted in the case of Capt. Chetan YK (Retd.) v. Union of India. The exemption enables the Kodavas to possess firearms without a license under the Arms Act, 1959.

Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice SS Magadum passed an order stated, 

“The Kodava community which is a marshal community has been enjoying the benefit of exemption since pre-independence and Jumma tenure holders are enjoying the exemption since the pre-independence period. They have rightly been granted an exemption for ten years, it is not the case they have been granted exemption indefinitely. The exemption granted is subject to certain terms and conditions. Therefore, the Constitutional validity of the notification is upheld in the petition.”

The court derived permissibility for the exemption under Article 14. The Hon’ble court further added that “from the documents, it can be concluded that the Kodavas race are considered as marshal races and have been enjoying this exemption since 1890.”

The court stated, the reason behind the exemption is the firearms are used for self-defence. The notice was issued in July and the matter was reserved for judgment.