The Gujarat High Court has recently held that reasons for refusal of a firearm license under the Arms Act should have a nexus and should be in context with the provisions of the Act and that the license cannot be revoked on irrelevant considerations.
The Bench of Justice AS Supehia further observed that the authority could not have revoked the Applicant's license merely because he had not received any threats or there was no incident of assault on him.
"The revocation of the license on the two grounds as mentioned hereinabove, is absolutely illegal and de hors the provisions of Section 17(3) of the Act," it observed.
The Petitioner was holding a firearm license and had sought its renewal in terms of the Arms Act, however, the same was denied and his license was revoked stating that and there is availability of telephone and he can call for police protection as and when necessary.
The Petitioner referred to Section 13 (Grant of licences) and 14 (Refusal of licences) of the Act and submitted the grounds cited by the authority find no mention in the Act.
Per contra, the AGP submitted that the Petitioner was having an alternative remedy to challenge the impugned order by appealing before the Secretary, Home Department.
The Bench noted that the Petitioner holding the license in 1997 was not a disputed fact. Subsequent to perusing Section 17(3) of the Act, the Bench opined that the authority did not even 'remotely thought fit' to examine the issue in accordance with Sec 17(3) conditions. It observed,
"The reasons for refusal of a licence should have a nexus and should be in context with the provisions of the Act and the license cannot be revoked on irrelevant consideration. Hence, the impugned order dated 29.09.2021 passed by the respondent authority deserves to be quashed and set aside as it is passed on absolute irrelevant grounds de hors the provisions of the Act."
Consequently, the matter was remitted back for reconsideration in accordance with the law.
Case Title.: KHANJI MOHAMMAD SAIYED GULAMRASOOL v/s ADDITIONAL DISTRICT MAGISTRATE
Case No.: C/SCA/352/2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 252