Bengaluru: Federation of Kodava Samajas, Balugodu, Kodava Samaja Bengaluru (KSB), Codava National Council (CNC) and United Kodava Organisation (UKO) filed an Interlocutory Application (IA) urging the Karnataka High Court to consider them as respondents in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed with regard to gun licence exemption to Kodavas.
The PIL has been filed by Captain (Rtd.) Yaladalu K. Chethan, who has questioned the 2019 notification of granting exemption to Kodavas in Kodagu district from the requirement to obtain a licence to carry and possess firearms as required under provisions of the Indian Arms Act, 1959.
The PIL came before the High Court yesterday and was heard by the Division Bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, who have directed the inclusion of Federation of Kodava Samajas, KSB, CNC and UKO as respondents in the PIL.
While Additional Solicitor General Naragund appeared for the Central Government, senior advocate and former Additional Advocate General of Karnataka A.S. Ponnanna appeared for CNC and the Federation. Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya appeared for KSB and UKO was represented by Praveen Reddy.
The Division Bench asked the respondents and the Centre to file their objections and views in writing within two weeks and posted the PIL hearing to Aug. 31.
Petitioner Chethan, son of Yaladalu D. Keshavananda of Galibeedu village in Kodagu, has questioned the Constitutional validity of the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs extending the exemption for “every person of Coorg race and every Jamma tenure land holder in Coorg” from gun licence till October 31, 2029.
“The classification and use of term ‘Coorg race’ promotes discrimination between the citizens of Coorg region on the ground of caste, violating Article 15 of the Constitution. The classification of ‘Coorg race’ itself is derogatory and possesses a threat to the life and liberty as the people exempted are permitted to hold arms and ammunition without any scrutiny of their antecedents or criminal records,” the PIL said.