Financial status of a person no ground to refuse arms license, says Bombay high court
The HC was hearing a case of a journalist who had been denied one because of his meagre incomemumbai Updated: Jan 18, 2018 13:55 IST
Financial status of a person cannot be a ground for refusing him a fire arm license, the Bombay high court said while directing Jalgaon district collector to issue a fire arm license to Ashok Patil, a journalist, who had been denied one because of his meagre income.
“The licensing authority cannot refuse license to any person on the ground that they do not own or possess sufficient property,” said Justice KL Wadane. “Here, in the present case, arms licence is refused on the ground that the annual income of the petitioner was only Rs4.1 lakh.”
Justice Wadane added that the reason for rejection of the arms license was “contrary to the provisions of Section 14(2) of the Arms Act”. He has now directed Jalgaon district collector to issue the license in 30 days.
Patil had applied for a fire arms license with the collector, who rejected his plea in February 2015. The petitioner then challenged the order before the divisional revenue commissioner. In April 2016, the appeal was also rejected holding that Patil was not entitled to an arms license, thus compelling him to approach the high court.
His lawyer pointed out to the high court that although lower revenue and police authorities had given favourable reports recommending issuance of arms license to him, the plea was rejected by the collector on erroneous ground of lack of sufficient income.
The HC said under the Arms Act, licence can be refused if the applicant is prohibited by law from acquiring one or for any reason he is unfit for a licence under the said Act, or where the licensing authority deems it necessary for the security of the public peace or for public safety to refuse to grant such licence. He held that in the case in hand, refusal on the ground of financial status of the petitioner was, therefore, legally unjustifiable.