Application for firearm cannot be rejected only due to lack of threat to life, says Bombay high court | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Application for firearm cannot be rejected only due to lack of threat to life, says Bombay high court

When a person contends that there is a threat to his life, the police cannot brush this aside in such a casual manner

mumbai Updated: Nov 06, 2017 00:31 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
A division bench lead by justice Shantanu Kemkar was hearing the case of Navi Mumbai resident Anuj Gupta, 29, who had approached the licencing branch of the Navi Mumbai police commissionerate seeking a firearm license.
A division bench lead by justice Shantanu Kemkar was hearing the case of Navi Mumbai resident Anuj Gupta, 29, who had approached the licencing branch of the Navi Mumbai police commissionerate seeking a firearm license. (HT File)

The Bombay high court held that an application for the grant of a firearm licence could not be rejected merely on the ground that there is no threat to the life of the applicant.

A division bench lead by justice Shantanu Kemkar was hearing the case of Navi Mumbai resident Anuj Gupta, 29, who had approached the licencing branch of the Navi Mumbai police commissionerate seeking a firearm licence.

On March 3, the branch’s senior police inspector rejected his application primarily on the ground that there was no threat to his life. Gupta appealed before an appellate authority, which upheld the licensing authority’s order.

The high court’s bench struck down the order passed by licencing authority and the appellate authority. It held that both authorities ignored provisions of the Arms Act, 1959.

The bench added that the licencing authority could not have rejected the engineer’s application for the grant of a firearm licence merely because he failed to establish that there was a threat to his life.

Gupta said the authorities had the right to decide whether to grant a licence to a person, based only on provisions of the Arms Act. However, when a person contends that there is a threat to his life, the police cannot brush this aside in such a casual manner, as was the case with him.

He also argued that the licencing authority did not consider matters relevant under provisions of the Arms Act, its orders were arbitrary and liable to be struck down as the contradicted the law laid down by the high court in several of its judgements.

The bench found substance in his contentions. It has now remanded the matter back to the licencing authority for a fresh decision within four months.