"There are many Sessions Judges who have real threat perceptions, even then they do not need a personal arms licence", commented the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday.
The Single Judge was hearing the petition of a local political leader for a direction for him to be granted an arms licence on his application.
"...of course, they have personal security. But after their retirement, the threat perception continues, still such retired judicial officers do not ask for an arms licence", the bench continued to remark.
The Court recorded the submission of the petitioner that he belongs to a particular political party and is a very fair, prudent and impartial person and during his political career he has faced many hardships but never compromised with dishonesty and corruption and for that reason there is every likelihood of danger to his life and he has many enemies. "He further submits that he is a businessman and in his locality he is a very important person requiring minimum protection from the State authority as a citizen for his safety and security of life. Accordingly, he applied for issuance of a licence for small arms", noted the Single Bench.
The Court observed that the application so made on behalf of the writ petitioner was enquired into by the District Magistrate, the arms licence issuing authority and he was asked to appear before the Additional District Magistrate General, Nadia in chamber on March 2 at 11:30 a.m. along with the documents to ascertain whether he is in threat perception or not. "By the order of District Magistrate on 24.02.2020 it would appear that the learned Magistrate by his letter dated 04.03.2020 rejected the prayer of the writ petitioner in the matter of issuance of armed licence enclosing the specific order dated 02.03.2020 passed by the Additional District Magistrate General, Nadia which reflects that upon hearing the petitioner and considering the police report and all connected paper the Additional District Magistrate General, Nadia was pleased to reject the application and turned down for issuing armed licence", reflected the Court.
The bench's attention was invited to the provision of Sections 13 and 14 of the Arms Act as embodied in Chapter 3 of the Arms Act. The Court appreciated that it emerges that the Licence issuing authority has to act upon the enquiry report through the officer in charge of the nearest police station. It appeared to the Court from the order impugned that the concerned authority has already taken into consideration the police report upon enquiry in compliance with the provision and has refused to grant licence to the petitioner as there is no specific threat to life and property.
"The learned counsel appearing for the State/respondent submits that the report of the police clearly reveals that there is no threat perception and the petitioner is a common man of the locality and there is no requirement of issuance of arms licence. The petitioner has pointed out that he is a respected person in the society and has a lot of landed property", noted the bench.
It proceeded to opine that whether the petitioner has landed property is not an important criteria for issuance of the arms licence. The only criteria which requires to be taken note of is whether the person has threat perception.
"There are many Sessions Judges who have really threat perceptions even though they do not need personal arms licence, of course they have personal security. But after their retirement, the threat perception continues, still such retired judicial officers do not ask for arms licence", expressed the bench, disposing off the plea, stating that the order impugned warrants no interference as the competent authority has already taken note of the enquiry report conducted by the officer in charge.
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