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Dope test fee for arms licences in Punjab trebled to Rs 1,500

The applicant is screened for many drugs, including morphine, cocaine, buprenorphine and tramadol.

punjab Updated: Apr 19, 2018 09:47 IST
Amit R Joshi
Amit R Joshi
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Dope test,arms licences,arms in Punjab
On the condition of anonymity, an owner of a gun house said, “In the countryside, many people keep .12 bore single barrel or double barrel guns that cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 20,000.” (HT File/Representative image )

If you own a weapon and want to get it licensed or intend to apply for renewal of the licence, the process is now costlier. The Punjab Health Systems Corporation has issued a direction to civil surgeons, medical superintendents and deputy medical commissioners to charge Rs 1,500 for the dope test of the applicant, treble the Rs 500 previously. It is compulsory for applicants to undergo a dope test before one can get or renew the licence.

The applicant is screened for many drugs, including morphine, cocaine, buprenorphine and tramadol. The provisions for this were incorporated in the Arms Act, 1959, in 2016 and the psychiatrist hands over a form S3 certifying that the applicant is not dependent on any intoxicating and narcotics substance.

Residents, gun house owners resent decision

On the condition of anonymity, an owner of a gun house said, “In the countryside, many people keep .12 bore single barrel or double barrel guns that cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 20,000. The cost of renewal for one weapon is Rs 3,300 and this additional burden of Rs 1,500 will irk people.” He added that the rich who already kept expensive guns were unlikely to feel the pinch. Harpreet Singh, an arms licence holder, said, “We keep weapon for safety and the government should not make the dope test a way of minting money.”

Ludhiana chief medical officer Parminderpal Singh welcomed the move and said that the hospital will be able to recover the cost incurred on dope tests. “The PGI also charges Rs 1,500 for the test as the kit used is quite expensive.”

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 09:47 IST