The Maharashtra Government has informed the Bombay High Court that it would frame new rules within six weeks for issuing gun licences to ensure that only those residing in the state availed this facility.
The Government's assurance came in response to a petition alleging misuse of gun licence rules to accommodate persons hailing from other states such as former Bihar Minister Jamshed Ashraf.
The Government told the court on Thursday that the new rules would enumerate the documents to be submitted and the verification process.
The petition, filed by Atul Bhagat, a resident of nearby Raigad district, alleged that gun licences were issued to people who were not domiciled in Maharashtra. It further alleged that the licences were issued on the strength of bogus documents and fake ration cards.
To cite an instance, the petition said that former Bihar Minister Jamshed Ashraf was issued gun licence from Navi Mumbai by the Maharashtra Government.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjana Desai asked the state to be careful in scrutinising the applications for gun licences. The Government should check threat perceptions to the applicants and also whether they were domiciled in the state, the bench opined.
In some states it may be necessary to issue gun licences to most people but such a kind of situation was not prevailing in Navi Mumbai and Maharashtra, the judges said and asked the state Government what corrective measures would it take to ensure that the rules were not misused.