Court No. - 48
Case :- WRIT - C No. - 14387 of 2019 Petitioner :- Dr. Shiv Shankar Shahi Respondent :- State Of U.P. And Another Counsel for Petitioner :- Rajeev Kumar Singh Counsel for Respondent :- C.S.C.
Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing counsel for State-respondents.
The petitioner is aggrieved by the order dated 30.3.2019 passed District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, rejecting his application for grant of arms license.
The petitioner is an M.B.B.S. doctor and running a registered hospital in the name of Shahi Global Hospital, Budh Vihar Part-C, Gorakhpur and his house is in the same locality. In the year 2017, threat of extortion was extended to the petitioner on his mobile phone and demand of Rs. 20 lacs was made. After the aforesaid incident, a first information report was lodged against one Ram Asrey, which was registered as Case Crime No. 720 of 2017, under Sections 386, 506 IPC, Police Station Cantt., District Gorakhpur and charge-sheet was submitted against the accused.
In order to protect his life and property, the petitioner applied for Arms License of revolver/pistol on 19.7.2017 before the Licensing Authority. The aforesaid application of the petitioner was not being decided by the Licensing Authority and therefore, the petitioner approached this Court by means of Writ Petition No. 33818 of 2018, which was disposed of by the order dated 8.10.2018 directing the Licensing Authority to decide his application for grant of fire arms license dated 19.7.2017 by speaking order, within a period of six months.
In pursuance of the aforesaid direction of this Court, the Licensing Authority has rejected the application of the petitioner for grant of fire arms license by the impugned order dated 30.3.2019. The police report dated 4.9.2018 was submitted in his favour. However, in the police report, Section 386 IPC was wrongly mentioned as 384 regarding Case Crime No. 720 of 2017. The Licensing Authority has recorded the finding that under Section 384 IPC, maximum punishment is three years while under Section 507, maximum punishment is two years and therefore, the offence is not of serious nature, which may entitle the petitioner to get fire arms license.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has pointed out that the first information report was lodged by the petitioner under Section 386/506 IPC and not under Section 384 IPC and the police report dated 4.9.2018 mentioned wrong Section. However, in the earlier police report dated 25.8.2018 correct particulars in this regard were there.
Learned Standing Counsel has submitted that the petitioner has an alternative remedy of filing an appeal before the Commissioner of the Division and the petitioner may be relegated to avail the alternative remedy at this stage.
From the order of the Licensing Authority, it is clear that there are no grounds covered under Sections 14 of Arms Act against petitioner, which may dis-entitle him to get the fire arms license. The applicant is a doctor having no criminal history and there is documentary evidence of threat being extended to him. Therefore, the order passed by the Licensing Authority cannot be said to be in accordance with law.
Doctors have become soft target of the criminals because of failure on the part of our social welfare State to provide security to the doctors and hence the need of making application for issuance of arms license by the doctor, like petitioner, has arisen. Had the State been able to instill the confidence in the doctors that they are protected and would not be harmed, there would have been no need for the petitioner to have applied for arms license. On the one hand there is failure of State to provide security to its citizens and on the other hand there is refusal by the public servants of the State to let the citizens protect themselves by keeping their own arms. These acts on the part of State and its officers are not in accordance with the right of life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to the citizens.
To protect his right to property also which is a legal right under Article 300-A of the Constitution of India, the petitioner applied for issuance of fire arms license.
The incident in question took place in July, 2017. The arms license was applied on 19.7.2017 and remained pending. The petitioner approached this Court by way of Writ Petition No. 33818 of 2018 to get his application for grant of arms license decided and after the order of this Court dated 8.10.2018, now his application has been considered wrongly and rejected without any legal ground provided under the statute.
When officer of the State do not adhere to the statutory provisions remanding the matter for reconsideration, once the order of the authority has been found without sanction of law is not necessary.
The application of the petitioner for grant of arms license is allowed. The District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, respondent No.2, is directed to issue arms license to the petitioner as per his application, within two months from today.
The learned Standing Counsel is directed to communicate this order to the Licensing Authority/District Magistrate, Gorakhpur forthwith for compliance.
Order Date :- 25.4.2019 Ruchi Agrahari