Arms licenses granted, refused without any rhyme or reason: HC
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Last Updated: Monday, December 13, 2010, 20:51
Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has expressed strong displeasure over grant of firearm licence on "irrelevant recommendations, considerations and connections" on applications by "respectable and peaceful" citizens who did not have a criminal record, saying it could lead to the tendency to possess unlicensed weapons.

"Sometimes, the court gets and impression that the executive authorities are granting fire arm licences only on irrelevant recommendations, considerations and connections. In such a scenario, genuine licence seeker becomes a casualty.

....whenever the authorities want to grant firearm licence, they grant without any rhyme or reason and similarly when they want to reject application for grant of licence, they do it without any rhyme or reason", Justice S U Khan said in a judgement dated of December 03, 2010.

"Authorities who are responsible to consider the application for grant of firearm licence do not realise that criminals do not require any firearm license for committing crime as they can very well use unlicensed fire arm.

"Only respectable and peaceful persons who require licence. Moreover, unnecessary rejection of applications for grant of firearm licence breeds a tendency to keep unlicensed arms - a greater evil", Justice Khan said.

He said the authorities, while considering an application for grant of licence shall keep only and only one criteria for refusing to grant licence and that is pendency of some criminal case.

"If there is neither anything good nor bad against a person, then the license must be granted. Otherwise a tendency to keep unlicensed arms will grow", the court added.

The order came on the writ petition of Pawan Kumar Jha, a resident of Allahabad, whose application for firearm licence was turned down on 27.10.1996, by the District Magistrate on the ground that police had "not given any positive report for grant of licence".

An appeal filed before the Division Commissioner too was rejected in 1997 on the same ground, following which the petitioner moved the court where he also furnished a copy of the report from concerned police authorities wherein recommendation had been given for grant of licence in his favour.

Allowing the petition, the court directed the District Magistrate "to grant the licence to the petitioner unless there is something adverse against him like pendency of criminal case".


First Published: Monday, December 13, 2010, 20:51

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