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Naulakh Singh v. State Of U.P. & Others - SPECIAL APPEAL No. 101 of 2004  RD-AH 6544 (10 April 2007)
Special Appeal No.101 of 2004
Naulakh Singh .....Appellant
State of U.P. & others .....Respondents
Hon'ble S. Rafat Alam, J.
Hon'ble Rakesh Sharma, J.
This intra Court appeal, under the Rules of the Court, is preferred against the judgment of the Hon'ble Single Judge dated 19.1.2004 disposing the petitioner-appellant's Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.1896 of 2004 finally with the observation that in case the petitioner files his reply to the notice within a period of ten days from the date of the order, the same shall be considered by the District Magistrate, Mainpuri by a speaking and reasoned order.
We have heard learned counsel for the appellant and the learned Standing Counsel for the State- respondents.
Admittedly, the petitioner-appellant did not file show cause pursuant to the order of the Hon'ble Single Judge. By the impugned notice dated 30th October, 2003 (Annexure-2), he was required to show cause by 20.11.2003 and was also required to appear before the District Magistrate, Mainpuri at 10 AM. It has been stated by the learned counsel for the appellant that neither the appellant filed show cause nor appeared before the District Magistrate. He, however, sought to argue that the Collector pending notice has no jurisdiction or authority to place the licence under suspension.
This aspect has been considered by a Full Bench of this Court in the case of Rana Pratap Singh Vs. State of U.P. and others, 1995 JIC 1062(All) (FB) wherein their Lordships para-23 held as under:
"Further, we also cannot but held that the Bench fell in error in observing "The ratio in C.P.Sahu's case that there is no power to suspend pending enquiry stands completely demolished by Kailash Nath's case."
It has further been clarified in para-31 of the judgment that the licensing authority, however, while suspending the licence shall apply his mind and only after recording reasons shall pass the order for suspension of the licence. Para-30 of the judgment is extracted hereinbelow.
"As regards suspension of an arms licence, by the licensing authority during the enquiry, this, it may be clarified, may be done only in the manner as explained in the judgment in C.P.Sahu's case (supra) and not without application of mind and recording of reasons by the licensing authority with such reasons and circumstances being in consonance with the provisions of the Arms Act."
Therefore, in view of the aforesaid Full Bench of this Court, we are of the view that the licensing authority can suspend a licence during the pendency of the proceeding of cancellation and the only requirement is that he has to record reasons by applying his mind. In the case of Balram Singh Vs. State, 1988 AWC 1481 which has been noticed in para-45 of the judgment a Full Bench observed as under:
"In Balram Singh Vs. State, 1988 AWC 1481 a Full Bench of this Court held that gun licence can validly be suspended during proceedings for its cancellation. Hence, if some immediate action is required (e.g., where it is apprehended that the gun may be misused or there is immediate apprehension of breath of law and order) a gun licence may be suspended and the gun may temporarily seized by the appropriate authority pending proceedings for its cancellation. Hence, there is no need to cancel the licence without prior opportunity of hearing. Suspension of the licence would suffice."
Therefore, where it is found that immediate action is required, firearm licence can be suspended and the same can also be seized by the authority pending proceeding.
We, therefore, in view of the settled legal position, do not find any merit in the contention raised by the learned counsel for the appellant. From a perusal of the impugned notice it is apparent that the District Magistrate has applied his mind and mentioned the criminal cases pending against him in the order and, thus, it is difficult to hold that the impugned notice is issued without application of mind. We, therefore, do not find any fault in the judgment of the Hon'ble Single Judge.
Learned counsel for the appellant, at this stage, submits that liberty may be given to the appellant to file show cause. However, learned Additional Government Advocate appearing for the State-respondents submits that by this time the proceeding must have been concluded.
Be that as it may, in the event the proceeding has not been concluded, the appellant may appear and file show cause within ten days from the date of issuance of a certified copy of this order. However, it is open to the District Magistrate, Mainpuri to consider his show cause and take appropriate decision in accordance with law, expeditiously.
With the aforesaid observation, this appeal stands dismissed.
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