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Suraj Bhan v. State Of U.P. Thru' Secy. Ministry Of Home & Ors. - WRIT - C No. 48051 of 2004  RD-AH 1337 (16 May 2005)
Hon'ble Mr. Rakesh Tiwari, J.
The petitioner retired in 1987 as a Hawaldar from Military Service ( E.M.E Department). It is alleged that a dacoity was committed in the house of the petitioner in which the dreaded dacoit Sipahiya Yadav was killed. He was thereafter abducted by the gang of Nathu Yadav on 26.9.1995. He applied for gun licence and was granted licence no. 693/D/UD for rifle no. 811638.
An F.I.R was lodged against the petitioner by one Bharat son of Kodauwa in Crime Case No. 153 of 1992 under Sections 323/374 I.P.C read with section 3(1) (1) of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes Act on 11.10.1992. Again on 6.5.1994, another F.I.R. was lodged against the petitioner by the same person in Crime Case No. 75 of 1994 under Sections 323/5-4/5-6 I.P.C read with Section 3(1)(6) of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes Act.
It is averred by the petitioner in the writ petition that robbery was committed in his house and his arms were stolen. An F.I.R was lodged which was registered as Crime Case No. 145 of 1995 under Section 394 I.P.C.
A notice was issued on 29.1.2002 under Section 17(3) of the Arms Act which was replied by the petitioner on 13.3.2002. However, by the impugned order dated 12.3.2004, the arms licence of the petitioner was cancelled. Appeal was preferred by the petitioner before the Commissioner, Chitrakoot Division, Banda against the aforesaid order dated 12.3.2004 which was dismissed vide judgement dated 20/8/2004. Aggrieved, the petitioner has come up before this court by means of the instant writ petition.
Heard counsel for the petitioner and standing counsel.
Counsel for the petitioner urged that pendency of the criminal cases cannot be a legitimate ground for suspension of the arms licence for indefinite period. In support of his contention, he placed reliance on the decisions of this court in Ram Kishore Singh V. Commissioner Jhansi and others - 2003 All.C.J-1740 and Ram Murti Madhukar V.district Magistrate Sitapur -1998 (vol. 2) A.C.J-1014
From the averments made in the writ petition, it is evident that the criminal cases are pending before the courts below since 1992 and they have not yet been decided.. As has been held in the aforementioned cases that licence cannot be suspended for indefinite period. There appears to be no justification for denying the petitioner to keep firearm for self defence.
In spite of time having been granted to the State, no counter affidavit has been filed.
The Standing counsel submits that from the order impugned, it is evident that the petitioner is a history sheeter and criminal cases are pending against him and it is not in the public interest to let the licence remain in his favour in the circumstances.
The cases under S.C/S.T Act have been lodged by one person against the petitioner. This would not itself be sufficient to come to the conclusion that safety of public at large is under threat from the petitioner. He is a retired personnel of Military. Admittedly, dacoity took place in his house in which dacoit- Sipahiya Yadav was killed. The petitioner had been abducted and robbery had also been taken place in his house. The appeal has been cursorily decided without application of mind. In the facts and circumstances, merely because a person in his village has grudge against the petitioner and he has lodged two cases would not make the petitioner a history sheeter and public safety, at large, would not come under treat. It would, therefore, be in the fitness of things and in the interest of justice to direct respondent no. 2 to decide the appeal of the petitioner afresh in accordance with law.
In the result, the writ petition succeeds and is allowed. The impugned orders dated 20.8.2004 passed by respondent no.2, Annexure 5 to the writ petition and dated 12.3.2004 passed by respondent no. 3, Annexure 4 to the writ petition are hereby quashed.
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