Karnataka High Court Labels Pepper Spray as a “Dangerous Weapon”

In a significant ruling, the Karnataka High Court has declared pepper spray to be a “dangerous weapon.” The court firmly rejected a petition to dismiss criminal charges against C. Ganesh Narayan and his wife, directors of C. Krishnaiya Shetty & Sons. The charges stemmed from an incident where the couple allegedly used pepper spray on a security guard and other employees at their showroom in Shivajinagar, Bengaluru.

The conflict reportedly escalated into a physical altercation, culminating in Vidya Nataraj, Ganesh’s wife, deploying pepper spray. The victim, Randeep Das, subsequently filed a police complaint, leading to an FIR against the couple. In their defense, the petitioners claimed the use of pepper spray was in self-defense, citing the right to self-protection under Section 100 of the IPC.

They argued that Das had attempted to tamper with their property, resulting in injuries to Vidya during the scuffle. However, Justice M. Nagaprasanna noted that both parties had lodged complaints against each other. Citing IPC Section 324, which defines intentional harm via any means including shooting, stabbing, or other weapons as a crime, he confirmed the dangerous nature of pepper spray.

Drawing parallels with a 2018 US court case that classified pepper spray as highly dangerous, Justice Nagaprasanna dismissed the self-defense claim. He noted that there was no imminent threat to Vidya’s life that justified the use of pepper spray. The High Court emphasized the need for a thorough investigation into the case.

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