High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
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Veer Pal Singh v. Commissioner Jhansi Division & Others - WRIT - C No. 331 of 2001  RD-AH 608 (2 March 2005)
Hon'ble Rakesh Tiwari, J
The petitioner applied for fire-arm licence for a rifle on 1.7.1998. Reports from Police and Revenue Departments were submitted before the District Magistrate recommending grant of licence. Since no orders were passed on the application of the petitioner.
He filed Civil Misc. Writ No. 5841 of 2000 which was disposed of vide judgement dated 2.2.2000 directing the District Magistrate to decide the application of the petitioner for grant of fire-arm licence within a period of three months from the date of production of a certified copy of the order.
The petitioner filed an application on 5.2.2000 along with copy of the order, as directed by the court. Reports were again called for by the District Magistrate and reports were submitted in favour of the petitioner by the Police as well as Revenue officials recommending grant of fire-arm licence to him. The Sub Divisional Magistrate, on 28.2.2000 recommending that the petitioner should not be granted any arm-licence in view of the reports of the In-charge Officer (Arma) dated 10.2.2000 and report dated 27.2.2000 of the Naib Tahsildar, Moth.
The District Magistrate, in pursuance of the aforesaid reports, rejected the application of the petitioner by order dated 23.4.2000 on the ground that the petitioner was intimate with persons of criminal nature and he may oppress poor and weak persons who belong to socially backward class.
In the reports of Naib Tahsildar and Sub Divisional Magistrate wherein it was stated that the petitioner had committed offence under SC/ST Act and that this family members had resisted collection of revenue and he was known to sit with persons of criminal nature.
Counsel for the petitioner submits that case crime no. 29 of 1993 under Sections 573, 504 and 506 I.P.C and under S.C/S.T Act, final report had been submitted and in Case Crime No. 23 of 1995 under Sections 147,332,336,504 and 506 I.P.C as well as in Case Crime no. 83 of 1988 under Sections 342,325, 323, 504 and 506 I.P.C, the petitioner has been acquitted. He further submits that the Station Officer, Poonch, in his report dated 23.5.1999 has clearly stated that no criminal case has been registered against the petitioner for the last about 5-6 years and he enjoys good reputation in the village and he recommended grant of licence to the petitioner. Dissatisfied by he report dated 23.5.99, a report was again called for from the new S.H.O. who had joined Police Station Poonch. The new S.H.O vide his report dated 27.12.1999 concurred with the report of his predecessor and recommended grant of licence to the petitioner.
The counsel for the petitioner urged that the District Magistrate rejected the application of the petitioner without application of mind. He has also submitted that the petitioner had never resisted revenue collected and it is clearly mentioned that the allegation that some family members had obstructed collection of revenue which is vague as it is not mentioned that who was the family member who resisted collection of revenue and how is he related to the petitioner. It is claimed that the petitioner never obstructed in collection of revenue.
The petitioner is an Advocate practising at Jhansi. All types of people may come in the life of an Advocate for their cases. Mere allegation that he sits with some criminals is not proof of any intimate criminal association as there is no material against the petitioner that any criminal case is pending against him nor he has been convicted in any crime. in this regard. He has already been acquitted in the cases filed against him alleged to have been filed due to enmity in the village. The case of the petitioner is that since he is a practising lawyer, some persons bear ill will and enmity against him as he has appeared in some of the cases against them and he requires fire-arm as he apprehends danger to his life and property in the village which is situated in dacoit infected area.
Standing counsel submits that the petitioner is not a person who should be granted licence which is apparent from his antecedents and criminal cases filed against him.
I have given my anxious thoughts to the rival submissions of the counsel for the parties. Final reports had been submitted in case crime no. 29 of 1993 under Sections 573, 504 and 506 I.P.C and under S.C/S.T Act, final report and he has been acquitted in Case Crime No. 23 of 1995 under Sections 147,332,336,504 and 506 I.P.C as well as in Case Crime no. 83 of 1988 under Sections 342,325, 323, 504 and 506 I.P.C. when he was not holding fire-arm. The petitioner is lawyer in legal profession and it is natural that in such a criminal affected area, he may be having clients of criminal propensities. But, this does not make him to be a criminal or a person having intimacy with persons of criminal nature. His association with such persons may be because of his profession. Two S.H.Os Poonch have independently given their reports in favour of the petitioner and have recommended grant of fire-arm licence to him. No reason has been recorded by the District Magistrate for disbelieving the reports of the Police officers, aforesaid. No criminal case is pending against him and he has not been convicted for any crime. On the contrary there are police reports to the effect that the petitioner has good reputation in the village. It is not beyond doubt that aforesaid cases may have been filed due to enmity.
For all the aforesaid reasons, the petition is allowed. The impugned orders dated 23.4.2000 passed by District Magistrate Jhansi (Annexure 5 to the writ petition) and 27.11.2000 passed by Commissioner Jhansi Division, Jhansi (Annexure 6 to the writ petition) are quashed. The District Magistrate is directed to reconsider the application of the petitioner for grant of arms licence after calling for fresh reports from the police and the licence authorities and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law within a period of three months from the date of production of a certified copy of this judgement. No orders as to costs.
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