Application for the grant of Arms License cannot be rejected on vague grounds

Andhra Pradesh High Court: While dealing with the question relating to grant of Arms license, the Court quashed the order of State Government of rejecting the application of Petitioner for grant of Arms License.

The Petitioner in this case had filed an application before the Commissioner of Police, Cyberabad Commissionerate which was rejected. The State Government also rejected the application in its appeal phase. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the impugned order is highly illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable, violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and opposed to the very spirit and object of the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959. But the learned Government Pleader vehemently contended that the impugned rejection order is in accordance with the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959. The bench comprising of A. V. Sesha Sai J minutely studied various sections of The Arms Act and analyzed that the  intention of the legislature is that the licensing authority should apply his mind while considering the request of the applicant for grant of Arms License and to arrive at a decision independently, taking into account facts and circumstances of the case and basing on the material available. The Court finally concluded that  the said order, is opposed to and not in conformity with the provisions of law, as such, the said order cannot be sustained.

 The Court also took account of the test to be applied by the licensing authority in considering grant of arms license which was laid down in another Judgment that is  whether the applicant has established his credentials as a law abiding person leading a peaceful life without any criminal record and whether any circumstances exist by which it can be reasonably presumed that there is a potential danger of misuse of the weapon leading to breach of peace and safety of the society. Once these two tests are satisfied an application for grant of license shall not ordinarily be rejected.  In the instant case, the State Government did not consider properly the relevant provisions of the legislation and the material available on record and the principles laid down in the above referred judgment and was thus quashed. [Kolan narasimha Reddy v.  State of Andhra Pradesh 2016 SCC OnLine Hyd 153, decided on 14.06.2016]

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