Read Judgment: Ram Milan vs. State of U.P & Ors.
Prayagraj, October 22, 2021: While dismissing the petition for grant of firearm license, the Allahabad High Court said that there is no bar for the Advocate to apply for firearm license and the application for the same can be considered in accordance with law under the provisions of Arms Act, 1959 r/w Arms Rules, 2016.
The Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery however, observed that a general trend to have a firearm license by an Advocate without any good reason is not appreciable and it is not in the interest of noble profession of Advocate.
The observation came pursuant to an application filed by the Petitioner (claiming to be an Advocate practicing at District Court, Allahabad) for a firearm license for Revolver u/s 13 of the Arms Act, 1959 r/w the Arms Rules, 2016 for his personal & professional safety, which came to be rejected by the licensing authority.
The Firearm license was sought on the ground that there was an attempt to murder on him and some local persons tried to molest his female family members by entering in his house. Accordingly, two FIRs came to be registered u/s 147, 323, 504, 506 IPC and 3(2)(Va) SC/ST Act. However, no charge-sheet was filed in first case, and the trial is pending in second case.
The High Court found that although the Petitioner has claimed himself to be an active Advocate, however, there is no documentary evidence on record and neither the registration of petitioner as an Advocate nor any membership with District Bar Association nor any document to show that he is active in profession, are on record.
“The contention that the accused persons are extending continuous threat to petitioner to enter into compromise in aforesaid criminal cases, is not supported by any evidence or document. Even no complaint has been filed by petitioner in this regard. He has not even approached the concerned authority to take protection under Witness Protection Scheme 2018”, observed the Court.
The Single Judge said that subjective satisfaction of Licensing Authority cannot be interfered by this Court under the writ jurisdiction in absence of any material, that there was no basis for such satisfaction or the basis of satisfaction is based on surmises and conjectures.
Rule 12 of Arms Rules, 2016 provides certain factors which have to be taken into consideration by the Licensing Authority while granting a firearm license, which includes legitimate and genuine reasons and also that the very nature of his business, profession, job or otherwise has genuine requirement to protect his life and property, added the Single Judge.
“An advocate always appears fearlessly before the Court to protect the rights of his clients. In case there is a threat in the mind of Advocate, the entire basis of nobleness of the profession would fall. If such applications are allowed without any concrete basis, a day will come that every Advocate will carry an arm inside the Court premises”, observed the High Court.
The Court further stated that every Advocate has a weapon of his legal arguments with bullets of judgments passed by High Courts and Supreme Court in support of his submission, which are enough to provide safety to his profession and client and are sufficient to demand justice from the Courts.