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INDIAN ARMS RULES 1962

 (1)    On application from a licence- holder, a licensing authority may extend the area of validity specified in his licence, if he is satisfied about the need of such extension, subject to the condition that the licensing authority has the power to grant a licence in relation to the area to which extension is sought.

(2)     On application from a company holding a licence in Form II or form III for a change in the name of the member, agent or other representative of the company in whose name the licence has been granted or of a retainer included in the licence, the necessary amendments may be made in the licence by the licensing authority.

Comment

            For the relevant provisions of the Arms Act, 1957, see Sec. 17 (2).

54.       Renewal of licences

(1)  Every licence may, at its expiration and subject to the same conditions (if any) as to the grant thereof, be renewed by the authority mentioned in Sch. II and renewing authority.

[Provided that the licence so renewed may be signed in the appropriate column of the licence by such officer as may be specially empowered in this behalf by the State government under rule 4.]

(2)  The authority issuing a licence shall ordinarily be responsible for watching all future renewals of the licence. Where a licence is renewed by an authority other than the authority who granted it, the former shall forthwith inform the latter of the fact or renewal and the period for which such renewal is valid. The applicant for the renewal. of a licence under this rule shall always be required to state his permanent residence, and, if he notifies a change in his permanent residence to the district in which the renewal is sought, the licensing authority of such district shall hence-forward become responsible for watching all future renewals of his licence and shall inform the original issuing authority accordingly. The procedure shall be repeated on each subsequent occasion of renewal of the licence, the necessary intimation being sent by the renewing authority to the original issuing authority or to the authority who last renewed the licence on a permanent change of residence, as the case may be.

(3)  An application for renewal of a licence for arms or ammunition deposited under sub-rule (1) of rule 47 may be made by the depositor, or where it is not practicable to make the application direct, through the dealer or any other person authorized by him in this behalf, while the arms of ammunition continue to be so deposited.

(4)  The licensing authority may consider an application for renewal of a licence, if the period between the date of its expiry and the date of application is not, in his opinion, unduly long with due regard to the circumstances of the case, and all renewal fees for the intervening period are paid; other wise the application may be treated as one for grant as one for grant of a fresh licence.

Note- This rule provides for the renewal of licences, See Sec. 15 (3) of the Arms Act, 1959.

55. Appeal against the order of a licensing authority or an authority suspending or revoking a licence under Sec. 17 (6)

In any case in which an authority issues an order-

(a)  refusing to grant or renew a licence or to give a no-objection certificate for such grant or renewal, or

(b)  varying any condition of a licence or suspending or revoking a licence under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) or sub-section (6) of Sec. 17, the person aggrieved by such order may, within thirty days from the date of issue of the order, and subject to the proviso to sub-section (2) of Sec. 18 prefer an appeal against that order, to the concerned appellate authority.]

Comments

Where the government would appear to have decided that for the present there need only be one shop for the sale of arms and ammunition in a particular district, the communication addressed by the Collector to the petitioner informing him that his application for a licence for opening of arms and ammunition shop in that district is rejected, is merely consequential upon the direction by the Government to grant the licence to another dealer.

The communication of the collector is not, therefore, an order passed under rule 41 (1) (a) and that being so, the question of his not recording the reasons for the refusal as required under rule 41-B(a) will not arise.

Under Art. 19(1) (g) of the constitution there is fundamental right vested in a citizen to carryon any business subject to reasonable restrictions. It cannot be disputed that the State is entitled to impose restriction on the sale or keeping for sale of fire-arms and ammunition by introducing the system of licensing as provided under the Arms Act and the rules made thereunder. Reliance is placed on the decision of Subbarao, J., in Narasimlw Reddy v. District Magistrate, Cuddapah, where the learned Judge has held that the licensing machinery would be a reasonable restriction only if the reasons where recorded.

Rule 41-B in so far as it provides for a reference by the licensing authority of an application to the Government is ultra vires the Arms Act and the rules made there under as being repugnant to the said provision is untenable. The arms Act does not in terms provides for a licensing authority. Sec. 17 provides for rules to be made by the Government prescribing the licensing authority. In exercise of that power the Government have prescribed the licensing authority under rule 26 vesting the said licensing authority with the power either to grant a licence himself or make a reference to the Government. It cannot, therefore, be said that the provisions under rule 41(1) (b) is inconsistent with or repugnant to the provisions of the Act or the rules.

Interference under Art. 226 of the Constitution is discretionary. The High Court does not interference with the order of the statutory authorities unless it is satisfied that there has been a patent lack of jurisdiction or an error of law apparent on the face of record, or that some principle or natural justice has been violated. It would not also interfere as pointed out by the supreme Court in Sang Ram Singh v. Election Tribunal Kotah, to correct errors of law, which do not occasion injustice in a broad and general sense.

Constitution, Art. 226. - Dismissal justified on failure to avail practicable an easy remedy. [Rules. 41 and 41-A of 1951 analogous to rules 54 and 55 of 1962.]

In principle, a petitioner who refuses to avail of a practicable and easy remedy provided by law or statutory rule, should be refused relief under Art, 226, unless the shows exceptional circumstances, or the extreme impracticability in that particular instance, of availing of the apparently straight remedy. An appeal under rule 41 or rule 41-A was particularly appropriate, because the executive authority immediately superior to the licensing authority will be able to examine the factual correctness and the sufficiency of the reasons better than the High Court which is unconnected with such executive functions. So failure to appeal is particularly serious in a case like this, and would justify the dismissal of the petition.

For the relevant provisions of the Arms Act, 1959, see Sec. 18.

56.    Procedure to be followed by the appellate authority

      On receipt of an appeal, the appellate authority may call for the records of the case from the authority who passed the order appealed against and after giving the appellant a reasonable opportunity of being heard pass final orders.

Note- Sub-section (5) of Sec. 18 of the Arms Act, 1959, lays down. that in disposing of an appeal the appellate authority shall follow such procedure that may be prescribed, provided that no appeal shall be disposed of unless the appellant has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

Comment

            This rule lays down that a reasonable opportunity of being heard should be provided to the appellant.

                Appeals shall be governed and regulated in the matter prescribed by the rules.

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