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Arms Act
The Indian Penal Code
Section 76 in The Indian Penal Code
Section 3 in The Indian Penal Code

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Andhra High Court
Sikandar Siddiqui vs State Of Andhra Pradesh, Home ... on 5 July, 1988
Bench: K Ramaswamy

ORDER

1. A licence was granted to the petitioner under section 13 of the Arms Act, Act 44/59 for short 'the Act' on August 16, 1980 to possess one .32 bore revolver No. 56210 for self-protection. It was renewed till June 15, 1984. By a show cause notice dated March 2, 1983 the petitioner was informed that he was involved in Crime No. 17/80 on the file of the Police Station, Rein Bazaar for the offence under section 324, I.P.C. and in Crime No. 18/80 for offences under sections 147, 148, 149, 448, 427, 323 and 504, I.P.C. of the same Rein Bazaar police station and continuing the possession of the licence would endanger the public peace and safety. Accordingly he was called upon to show cause why his licence should not be revoked. The petitioner had submitted his explanation on June 3, 1983. On a consideration of the material on record in the impugned G.O. Ms. No. 326 dated May 11, 1984 the licence of the petitioner was revoked. Assailing the legality thereof, the writ petition has been filed.

2. The contention of the petitioner is that the petitioner has not violated any law. There is no conviction by any criminal court. Only on conviction under section 76(3) of the Act the licence is to be revoked or suspended. In view of the fact that no steps having been taken by the prosecution to have the petitioner convicted, cancellation of the licence given to the petitioner is arbitrary. It is also contended that the show cause notice was issued in February, 1983 and the order was passed in 1984. These circumstances clearly show that it endangered the safety of the public.

3. The question, therefore, is whether the licence given to the petitioner under section 13 of the Act is liable to be cancelled. Section 17 of the Act provides the power for suspension or revocation of the licence. Sub-section 3 of Section 17 provides that the licensing authority may by order in writing suspend a licence for such period as it thinks fit or revoke a licence.

(a) ...................

(b) if the licensing authority deems it necessary for the security of the public peace or for public safety to suspend or revoke the licence.

Therefore, it is the objective satisfaction on the basis of the material on record that the continued existence of fire arms licence with the petitioner would endanger security of the public peace or the public safety. It is no doubt true that the Magistrate is given the power under section 76(3) to revoke or suspend a licence on conviction. That does not mean that the licensing authority has no jurisdiction to suspend or revoke the licence once granted. The power to grant would include to suspend or cancel without any express power. But we have the express power under section 17(3)(b) of the Act. Therefore, the authority is well within its competence to pass appropriate order. It is no doubt true that the petitioner has denied the allegations against him. But the crime reports have been placed before me. The crime reports disclose that the petitioner appears to have been involved in the unlawful activities of endangering safety or public safety of the local people and that therefore, he was charged for various offences herein-before referred. That would constitute a conclusion which was reached by the licensing authority that his continued existence of the licence would endanger the public peace or safety. Accordingly I find that the revocation of the licence cannot be said to be arbitrary or without jurisdiction. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed. No costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 350/-.

4. Petition dismissed.