It is ultimately a license, not a right: Bombay HC to attorney seeking gun license

The Bombay High Court has asked a lawyer to prove he has a threat perception for which he is seeking a gun license.


Bombay,UPDATED: December 8, 2022 12:47 PM IST

The Bombay Supreme Court

The Bombay High Court (file photo)

From Vidy : Bombay High Court has ordered a lawyer to prove he has a threat perception for which he is seeking a gun license. Attorney Amritpal Singh Khalsa, a resident of Ulhasnagar, had applied to the Thane Police Commissioner for a gun license. However, the commissioner refused.

Khalsa later approached the appeal body, the Additional Chief Secretary Home, Maharashtra, who also denied his application. Khalsa then appealed to the Supreme Court.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Judges AS Gadkari and PD Naik initially said, “Weapons cannot be granted for threat perception.”

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However, Khalsa was put on trial by an attack that took place on him in Sikkim. He also referred to a threatening message he had received. “There was an attack on me and my driver when I went to Sikkim for a Gurudwara case,” Khalsa said.

Judge Gadkari said, “Don’t go there. Do not accept such pleadings. Go and seek protection from the state government where the attack took place.”

Judge Gadkari further added: “You must indicate the threat perception on the basis of which you are seeking a firearms license. Ultimately, it’s a license. It’s not right.”

Khalsa first went to the Supreme Court in February 2021, stating that if he “handles sensitive matters, there is a possibility that some unsuccessful clients could harm him.” He had filed a gun application under the Gun Act in January 2020, but his application remained pending, so Khalsa had approached the Supreme Court to demand that the court order the commissioner to make a decision.

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In May 2021, the Supreme Court ordered the Thane Police Commissioner to rule within six weeks. In June 2021, the commissioner denied his application for a gun license. He similarly appealed to the Supreme Court a couple of times, until the Board of Appeals stated that Khalsa had “failed to provide any valid reasons for issuing an armed license”. It added that neither Khalsa nor his family members had any threat perceptions.

The agency refused, but also stated that “without sufficient justification and in order to maintain public peace or public safety in general, it is not appropriate to issue armed licenses.”

The Appellate Body also filed an affidavit opposing Khalsa’s plea, saying that Khalsa “has presented no compelling documentary evidence in relation to the assault on him in Sikkim. Attack on him by the lawyers of the first-class learned magistrate, Ulhasnagar, in Thane District.” .

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