Retired Judges face more threats but don’t ask for arms licences: Calcutta HC while rejecting plea by politician seeking an arms licence

Calcutta High court

The petitioner had asserted that there was a danger to his life and that he had many enemies on account of his being an honest, uncorrupt politician.

An order dismissing a plea by a local politician for allowing him an arms licence recently saw the Calcutta High Court remarking that even retired judges do not insist on holding arms, even though they face higher threats than the petitioner (Subir Biswas and ors. v. State of West Bengal and ors).”There are many Sessions Judges who have really threat perceptions even though they do not need personal arms licence, of course they have personal security. But after their retirement, the threat perception continues, still such retired judicial officers do not ask for arms licence (sic).”Calcutta High Court

The petitioner had asserted that there was danger to his life and that he had many enemies on account of his being an honest, uncorrupt politician. He submitted that he was also a businessman and an important person in his locality. As such, he argued that he required a minimum level of protection, to which end he had applied for a licence for small arms.

However, the Additional District Magistrate, Nadia, designated as the authority to consider applications for arms license, rejected the petitoner’s application in March 2020.

The Magistrate’s order turning down the application for issuing an armed licence was issued after considering a police report on the threat perception of the petitioner as well. The Magistrate found that there is no specific threat to the petitioner’s life and property,

In his plea challenging the Magistrate order, the petitioner asserted that the police report divulges that he faces threats. Inter alia, the petitioner highlighted that he has a lot of landed property and that he was a respected person to buttress his case that he was susceptible to threats.

However, Justice Shivakant Prasad found no merit in these arguments, remarking that, “Whether the petitioner has landed property is not an important criteria for issuance of the arms licence. The only criteria which requires to be taken note of is whether the person has threat perception.”

Ultimately, the Court found that there was no need to interfere in the Magistrate’s order rejecting the petitioner’s application upon finding that there was no threat to his life. The petition was, therefore, dismissed.

Published by Sneha Vishwakarma

Advocate, Bombay High court.

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