The Kodava Community’s Exemption under Section 41 of the Arms Act: A Study of Constitutional Validity, Historical Context, and Ambiguity in Contemporary Legal Interpretation

  • Shaan Ganapathy P.B.
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  • Shaan Ganapathy P.B.

    Student at School of Law, Christ University, India

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This research paper delves into the unique exemption granted to the Kodava community, a martial race from Coorg, under Section 41 of The Arms Act. This exemption, which allows the community to possess arms, specifically guns, without a license, has its origins in the British era and is rooted in the customs and traditions practiced by the Kodava people. The exemption has been extended by a central government notification until October 2029. However, recent legal developments, including a petition challenging the constitutional validity of this exemption filed in the Karnataka High Court, have raised questions regarding its legal standing. The matter was subsequently appealed in the Apex Court, where the Supreme Court refrained from providing a definitive ruling, instructing the High Court to revisit the case. Focusing on the post-expiration scenario, it explores the potential violations of the community's fundamental rights deeply rooted in their cultural and traditional practices. The study critically examines the constitutional validity and jurisprudential perspectives, drawing parallels with the Sikh community's right to carry the kirpan. Through comprehensive analysis of relevant case laws, constitutional provisions, and ethical considerations, the paper seeks to balance the rights of the Kodava community and legal regulations. The research aims to offer viable solutions that respect cultural heritage while upholding legal standards, ensuring a harmonious coexistence between tradition and the law.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 2762 - 2770


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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