1. This petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, in which, the petitioner has prayed that the order dated 04.08.2016 passed by the District Magistrate and the order dated 18.12.2018 passed by the Joint Secretary, Home Department be quashed and set aside and thereby respondent be directed to issue arms license to the petitioner.
2. Heard learned advocate, Mr. Rohankumar Amin for the petitioner and learned AGP Ms. Asmita Patel for the respondents.
application of the petitioner came to be rejected by the District Magistrate vide order dated 04.07/08.2018. It is submitted that against the said order, the petitioner preferred Appeal under Section 18 of the Arms Act, however, the respondent no.1 rejected the said Appeal and, therefore, the present petition is filed.
4. Learned advocate for the petitioner submits that the respondent no.2 - District Magistrate has placed reliance upon negative opinion given by the DSP as well as the Mamlatdar, however, the said reports were not supplied to the petitioner and without assigning any reasons, the respondent no.2
- District Magistrate has rejected the request of the petitioner. It is, therefore, submitted that the impugned order passed by the District Magistrate be set aside and the matter be remitted back to the respondents for deciding the issue afresh.
5. Learned advocate for the petitioner has placed reliance upon the orders of this Court in case of Hindusingh Devisingh Vaghela Vs. State of Gujarat, Page 2 of 6 C/SCA/1107/2019 ORDER reported in 2016 SCC OnLine Guj 9289 as well as in case of Rajabhai Sidhabhai Padsariya Vs. State of Gujarat & Anr., reported in 2016 SCC OnLine Guj 8673 and contended that in the said cases, when the order passed by the concerned Magistrate was on extraneous ground, this Court quashed and set aide the said orders. He, therefore, urged that this petition be allowed.
6. On the other hand, learned AGP has opposed this petition and submitted that though the respondent
- District Magistrate has not assigned detailed reasons while rejecting the request of the petitioner, the respondent no.1 in Appeal has considered the submissions of the petitioner and while rejecting the Appeal, has assigned reasons and, therefore, this Court may not interfere with the said order passed by the Appellate Authority.
7. Having heard learned advocate for the parties and having gone through the material produced on record, it has emerged that the respondent - District Magistrate has rejected the request of the petitioner simply relying upon two negative opinions submitted by the concerned DSP and the Mamlatdar. It is not in dispute that the said Page 3 of 6 C/SCA/1107/2019 ORDER reports were not supplied to the petitioner and without giving opportunity of hearing, the request was rejected. It is further revealed that though the Appellate Authority has referred to the provision contained in Section 14 of the Arms Act, he has not given any reasons as to why the request of the petitioner is to be rejected.
8. This Court in similar matter in case of Rajabhai Sidhabhai Padsariya (supra) has observed in Para No.10 as under, "If the police opinion given by the SubDivisional Magistrate, Bhavnagar is perused, it appears that the same is in favour of the petitioner. Neither it is the case of the respondent nor it has been observed by the respondent that the petitioner is a head strong person or he is having any antecedents nor it has been observed by the respondent that if the licence is issued in favour of the petitioner, there would be threats to public at large and, therefore, in my opinion, the authorities below have rejected the application on the extraneous ground under Section 14(b)(I)(3) of the Act, which empowers the authority to refuse to grant the license for such reasons, which would make the petitioner unfit for getting the licence under the Page 4 of 6 C/SCA/1107/2019 ORDER Act. However, I do not find any just reason for rejecting the application submitted by the petitioner. It is true that getting license is not a right of an individual as held by the Division Bench of the Allahabad but the authority concerned has to decide the case considering the facts and circumstances in each case. Therefore, I hold that the orders passed by the authorities below are unreasonable and without any substance."
9. This Court in the aforesaid order set aside the order passed by the concerned authority on the ground that the concerned authority has not considered the grounds mentioned in Section 14 of the Arms Act, which empowers the authority to refuse the grant of license for the reasons stated in the said provision and as to how the petitioner is not entitled for the grant of license.
10. In the present case, as discussed hereinabove, the respondent no.2 has not assigned any reason while rejecting the application of the petitioner nor opinions upon which reliance is placed, were supplied to the petitioner. Thus there is violation of principle of natural justice.
11. In view of the aforesaid discussion, this petition is allowed. The impugned order dated 04.08.2016 Page 5 of 6 C/SCA/1107/2019 ORDER passed by the District Magistrate and the order dated 18.12.2018 passed by the Joint Secretary, Home Department are hereby quashed and set aside. The matter is remitted back to the respondent no.2 for deciding the application of the petitioner afresh in accordance with law. The respondent no.2 shall consider the application of the petitioner within a period of eight weeks from the receipt of copy of this order. Direct service is permitted.
(VIPUL M. PANCHOLI, J.) Gautam Page 6 of 6