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Section 21 – The Arms Act, 1959

The Arms Act, 1959



21. Deposit of arms, etc., on possession ceasing to be lawful –




(1) Any person having in his possession any arms or ammunition the possession whereof has, in consequence of the expiration of the duration of a licence or of the suspension or revocation of a licence or by the issue of a notification under section 4 or by any reason whatever, ceased to be lawful, shall without unnecessary delay deposit the same either with the officer in charge of the nearest police station or subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, with a licensed dealer or where such person is a member of the armed force of the Union, in a unit armory.


Explanation –In this sub-section “unitarmoury” includes and armory in a ship or establishment of the Indian Navy.


(2) Where arms or ammunition have or has been deposited under sub-section (1) the depositor or in the case of his death, his legal representative, shall, at any time before the expiry of such period as may be prescribed, be entitled-


(a) to receive back anything so deposited on his becoming entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have the same in his possession, or


(b) to dispose, or authorise the disposal, of anything so deposited by sale or otherwise to any person entitled by virtue of this Act or any other law for the time being in force to have, or not prohibited by this Act or such other law from having, the same in his possession and to receive the proceeds of any such disposal :


Provided that nothing in this sub-section be deemed to authorise the return or disposal of anything of which confiscation has been directed under section 32.


(3) All things deposited and not received back or disposed of under sub-section (2) within the period therein referred to shall be forfeited to Government by order of the district magistrate :

Provided that in the case of suspension of a licence no such forfeiture shall be ordered in respect of a thing covered by the licence during the period of suspension.


(4) Before making an order sub-section (3) the district magistrate shall by notice in writing to be served upon the depositor or in the case of his death, upon his legal representative, in the prescribed manner, require him to show cause within thirty days from the service of the notice why the things specified in the notice should not be forfeited.


(5) After considering the cause, if any, shown by the depositor or as the case may be, his legal representative, district magistrate shall pass such order as he thinks fit.


(6) The Government may any time return to the depositor or his legal representative things forfeited to it or the proceeds of disposal thereof wholly or in part.



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The Arms Act, 1959


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