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Laxmi Prasad v. District Magistrate Hamirpur And Antoher - WRIT - C No. 43761 of 1998  RD-AH 700 (1 September 2004)
Court No. 51
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 43761 of 1998
Laxmi Prasad ---- Petitioner
District Magistrate, Hamirpur & another -- Respondents.
Hon'ble V.C.Misra, J.
Heard Sri Ram Kishore Gupta, learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing Counsel for the State respondents.
1. The facts of the case in brief are that the petitioner possessed a licence number 3257/III-C for S.B.B.L. Gun No. 10466-78. A notice was issued to the petitioner under section 17 of the Arms Act on 25th October, 1996 on the basis of the case crime No. 121 of 1996 under sections 147, 148,149 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The petitioner filed his reply submitting therein that he had been acquitted by the III Additional sessions Judge, Hamirpur vide its judgment and order dated 12th May, 1998 from the above charges. The respondent no. 1- District Magistrate, Hamirpur after considering all the facts of the case on record cancelled the licence of the petitioner vide its order dated 3rd June, 1998. The petitioner being aggrieved filed an appeal before the respondent no. 2- Commissioner, Chitrakutdham Mandal who vide its order dated 15th October, 1998 dismissed the appeal.
2. The petitioner has filed a supplementary affidavit annexing therein the order of the District Magistrate, Hamirpur dated 3rd June, 1998 and the judgment and order of III Additional Sessions Judge, Hamirpur dated 12th May, 1998 by which the petitioner-accused along with other accused persons was exonerated from the charges levelled against him and granted acquittal. There is finding of fact recorded by the III Additional Sessions Judge that the deceased Arjun Singh died because of the injuries inflicted upon him. It has been proved by the chemical examination report, which was on record that the shots were fired by the SBBL Gun No. 10466 - 78 and the recovered spent cartridges from the spot were fired by the said recovered Gun. However the petitioner along with other accused persons was acquitted by the III Additional Sessions Judge on benefit of doubt.
3. Learned counsel for the petitioner in support of his case has submitted that the licence of a licensee cannot be cancelled merely because criminal cases have been filed against him and specifically under the condition when he has been acquitted by the Court. He has relied upon the decision in Balkrishan Pandey Vs. Commissioner and others (2002 (2) AWC 1139) which deals with Sections 17 and 18 of the Arms Act and regarding revocation of licence on the ground of involvement of the licence holder in criminal cases of serious nature in which he was finally acquitted. It has been held that the very foundation of the action of the cancellation would be treated to be bad and unsustainable unless there was some other report or material in support of revocation of his licence. Learned counsel for the petitioner also relied upon the decision in Dharam Vir Singh Vs. State of U.P. and others (2003 (46) ACC 757). In this case the licence of the licensee was revoked on the ground of pendency of six criminal cases though he had not been convicted in any one of them rather, acquittal was granted in two cases and even though there was no finding regarding necessity to revoke the licence in public interest. It was held therein that mere pendency of criminal cases cannot be a ground for revocation of the licence. Learned counsel for the petitioner also relied upon the decision in Sukhpal Singh Vs. Commissioner, Meerut and others (1996 AWC 1463), wherein also the arms licence was cancelled only on the basis that the petitioner was a man of criminal bent of mind and witnesses in criminal cases turned hostile due to his strong arm tactics, which fact though was not supported by any evidence and it was held by this Court that since the ground on which the notice was issued was not established the order of revocation and appellate order of its confirmation were not sustainable.
4. I have gone through record of the case and the above decisions cited by the learned counsel for the petitioner and the principles laid down therein and find that the facts of these cases are not similar to the facts of the present case of the petitioner. No doubt, the principles laid down in the above decisions are well settled law but the same do not apply to the facts of the present case and are of no help to the petitioner. The District Magistrate has rightly cancelled the arms licence of the SBBL Gun of the petitioner, as the gun was found to have been used in the case crime No. 121 of 1996 in which the petitioner was an accused in the Sessions Court. There is a categorical finding that the spent cartridge found on the spot had been fired from the said SBBL Gun of the petitioner, a fact, which was certified by the chemical examination report. On the facts and circumstances of the instant case, I also find that the appellate authority i.e. the Commissioner, Chitrakutdham Mandal has committed no illegality in rejecting the appeal filed against the order of the District Magistrate, Hamirpur.
With the above observations the writ petition is dismissed. No order as to costs.
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