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It is ultimately a licence, not a right: Bombay HC to lawyer seeking arms licence – India Today

The Bombay High Court has asked an advocate to show that he has a threat perception for which he is seeking an arms licence.

Mumbai,UPDATED: Dec 8, 2022 12:47 IST

The Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court (File photo)

By Vidya : The Bombay High Court has directed an advocate to show that he has a threat perception for which he is seeking an arms licence. Advocate Amritpal Singh Khalsa, a resident of Ulhasnagar, had filed an application before the Thane police commissioner seeking an arms licence. However, the commissioner rejected it.

Later, Khalsa approached the appellate authority, the additional chief secretary Home, Maharashtra, who also rejected his request. Following this, Khalsa approached the high court.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the bench of Justices AS Gadkari and PD Naik at first said, “Arms cannot be granted for threat perception.”


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However, Khalsa took the court through an attack which had taken place on him in Sikkim. He also pointed to a message of threat received by him. “There was an assault on me and my driver when I went to Sikkim with regards to a case of a gurudwara,” said Khalsa.

Justice Gadkari said, “Don’t go there. Don’t accept such briefs. Go and seek protection from that state government where the attack took place.”

Justice Gadkari further added, “You will have to point out the threat perception based on which you are seeking an arms licence. Ultimately, it is a licence. It is not a right.”

Khalsa first moved the high court in February 2021 stating that as he “handles sensitive matters, there are chances that some unsuccessful clients may harm him”. He had applied for arms in January 2020 under the Arms Act, but his application was kept pending so Khalsa had approached the high court seeking that the court direct the commissioner to decide.

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In May 2021, the high court redirected the Thane police commissioner to decide within six weeks. In June 2021, the commissioner rejected his request for an arms licence. Similarly, he approached the high court a couple of times until the appellate authority said that Khalsa had not provided “any cogent reasons for issuance of an armed license”. It added that neither Khalsa nor any of his family members had a threat perception.

The authority while rejecting, also stated that “without any sufficient reasons and in order to maintain public peace or public safety at large, it is not proper to issue armed licence.”

The appellant authority also filed an affidavit opposing Khalsa’s plea and said that Khalsa had “not produced any cogent documentary evidence in respect of the assault in Sikkim on him. The petitioner did not contend about any incident and/or his life danger except the incident of attack on him by the advocates at the learned judicial magistrate, first class, Ulhasnagar, in Thane District.”