Can’t keep sitting on application, HC wants action in six weeks
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The Allahabad High Court has asked the District Magistrate of Azamgarh to dispose of an application for revoking the suspension of arms licence of a man, who has criminal cases registered against him, within six weeks.
The court agreed with the contention of the petitioner that the administration should not take indefinite time to decide a matter. However, the court did not make comments on the merits of the applicant for the arms licence.
In an order passed on Monday, Justice Sudhir Agarwal ordered the competent authority (DM in this case) to pass final order with regard to cancellation of petitioner's (Omkar Singh alias Pintu Singh) firearm licence within six weeks from the date of a certified copy of the order put before him.
The court also observed that "Whenever a notice is issued to a person requiring him to show cause as to why his firearm licence be not cancelled, and, in the meantime, the same is placed under suspension, the District Magistrate should not keep the matter pending for indefinite period." It also noted that the DM concerned has also not put on record the reasons for the delay in passing the final order.
Petitioner Singh's firearm licence was placed under suspension on April 24, 2010, by the district administration. The appeal in the office of Commissioner also met with the same result on July 28, 2010.
Man Bahadur Singh, counsel for the petitioner, said the main prayer before the court was for cancellation of the said order and restoration of the arms licence to his client. "Our main argument that even if a person has criminal cases pending against him, he had the right to ensure means of his safety and security," said the counsel.
He further said the firearm, a single barrel 12-bore gun, whose licence has been questioned, was never used in any illegal activity and there was no violent incident preceding the move by the administration recommending suspension of his licence. Also, said the counsel, the petitioner had no case registered against him at the police station from where the process of suspending the licence was initiated.
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