High Court (India)

November 12, 2018

Delhi HC holds event organizers responsible for celebratory firing mishaps


The Delhi High Court, while hearing a plea of the father of a teenage girl who died due to celebratory firing during a wedding ceremony in April 2016, recently ruled that “Organizers of events like weddings where celebratory firing takes place would also be held responsible for any mishap that may occur due to discharge of firearms”.

In this regard, the court noted, “If the government has not formulated guidelines on the issue, then till such norms come, ‘we need to fix responsibility on the person who organized the event’.”

According to the court, the person organizing an event should ensure that his/her guests do not discharge firearms and should inform the police in case celebratory firing takes place.

The court observed, "Something should be done by the person organizing the event. If you are conducting a ceremony where celebratory firing takes place, you will be held responsible. You cannot say that you did not ask them (guests) to bring the guns."

In this case, the groom and his family argued that they were unaware about any celebratory firing by the guests in the wedding ceremony and that they had no control over use of firearms by others.

In response, the court said, "You (groom and his father) held the event and celebratory firing took place there. These two facts are sufficient to hold you also responsible". The court thereafter directed the Centre, Delhi government, and the police to examine the issue of who would be responsible for compensation in such incidents.

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