Authorities in Bengaluru airport had filed a case against the American after finding a bullet in his bag.
Giving a relief to an IT engineer and a gun enthusiast from the U.S., the Karnataka High Court quashed a criminal case registered against him after a live bullet was found in his handbag at Kempegowda International Airport when he was leaving for the U.S. on April 23.
Justice A.N. Venugopala Gowda passed the order while allowing a petition filed by Thomas Jeffrey Kidd, a Systems Administrator with Cisco Systems.
He was arrested and released on bail, and his passport was seized.
The court pointed out that Mr. Kidd was “not conscious/aware of the presence of a live bullet in the handbag till it was detected by the security personnel during the screen at the KIA”.
Mr. Kidd has a valid licence to hold a concealed handgun and is professionally authorised to teach the basic course in “certified muzzle loading rifle, certified pistol, certified rifle and certified short gun”. He also holds a certificate to train NRA Safety Officers.
The petitioner told the he had genuinely believed that he emptied all accessories related to his rifle training when he started the journey to India while carrying the handbag that he normally uses to carry accessories related to his rifle activities.
“The bullet must have been left out in the bag due to inadvertent oversight and the same appears genuine bona fide, as no attempt was made by him to conceal the said bullet nor the said bullet was found hidden in a secret compartment of his baggage to evade detection…,” the court said while asking the authorities to return his documents.