“Meant to intimidate independent journalists” Scroll.in Editors Supriya Sharma and Naresh Fernandes move Allahabad HC seeking to quash FIR

Scroll.in editors Supriya Sharma and Naresh Fernandes have moved the Allahabad High Court challenging the FIR registered against them seeking a stay on coercive action pursuant to the same.

Allahabad Highcourt

The FIR was registered in relation to a news article published by Scroll.in highlighting the plight of the villages in Varanasi district, which was adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After the news report was published, an FIR was registered against the two under Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Sections 3(1)(r) and 3(1)(s) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 were also invoked in the FIR lodged at Ramnagar Police Station in Varanasi District.

The FIR was registered based on a complaint filed by a woman who alleged that she had been quoted incorrectly in the news article and that her condition was mocked on account of her belonging to the Scheduled Caste community.

The petitioners claim that this FIR is “wholly false, motivated, malicious, baseless and untenable” and that no prima facie offence is made out against them, either under the IPC or under the SC/ST Act.

“The registration of the said FIR amounts to an abuse of the process of law, intended to intimidate, silence and punish independent journalism; and any coercive action against the Petitioners would amount to a grave miscarriage of justice.”

Petition filed in Allahabad High Court

It is said that the news piece published by Scroll.in was based on the interviews carried out by Sharma in her professional duty and the report is based on facts that emerged during the course of this journalistic exercise. The petitioners have, in the plea, also undertaken to file a complete audio recording of the interview that has been alleged by the complainant to have been falsified. The plea says,

“That the Petitioner No. 1 has followed standard journalistic practice in audio recording the interview of Ms. Mala and reporting the news story based on what Ms. Mala had stated in the interview. All reporting about Ms. Mala in the concerned news article has been done bonafide and is based on the primary account given by Ms. Mala herself.”

As such, the registration of the FIR against the journalists is “abuse of the process of law, meant to intimidate and harass independent journalists and stifle freedom of press from reporting critical stories stating the unvarnished truth and grim reality about the lives of vulnerable groups”, it is said.

The inclusion of Section 269 of the IPC which deals with “negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life” shows non-application of mind in registering the FIR, the petition further argues.

“The inclusion of this criminal offence in the FIR betrays the cavalier, malicious and arbitrary manner in which the Respondents have acted against the Petitioners.”

Petition filed in Allahabad High Court

Challenging the inclusion of Section 501 of the IPC in the FIR, the petitioners state that the Section could have been invoked only after the complainant had made a complaint before the competent court, as is required under the procedure laid down under Section 199 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Therefore, invoking this Section in the FIR shows that the police acted in a “motivated and over-zealous” manner.

Having said so, the petitioners also deny the mischief aspect under Section 501 and have submitted before the Court that the report was a fact-based story backed by the interview conducted.

The petition also refutes the provisions of SC/ST Act used to charge the petitioners and says that the article on Scroll.in clearly shows that there is no intentional insult or hurt caused.

Given that there is no prima facie case made out and there is no need or custodial interrogation or recovery to be made from the petitioners, their right to liberty ought not to be curtailed, the plea states. Therefore, they have prayed for a stay on their arrest pursuant to this FIR.

The petitioners have therefore, sought for the FIR against them to be quashed and for directions to the authorities to not take any coercive steps against them.

The petition is drawn by Advocates Vrinda Grover, Swetashwa Agarwal, and Raghav Dwivedi. The petitioners will be represented by Senior Advocate Dinesh Dwivedi before the High Court

President Promulgates Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020

Amendments to ensure better management & sound regulation of Cooperative banks

Facilitates making of reconstruction/amalgamation Scheme in the interest of public/depositors/banking/proper banking company management

Reserve Bank of India

In pursuance of the commitment to ensure safety of depositors across banks, the President has promulgated the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020. (Click to view the Gazette notification on the Ordinance)

The Ordinance amends the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 as applicable to Cooperative Banks. The Ordinance seeks to protect the interests of depositors and strengthen cooperative banks by improving governance and oversight by extending powers already available with RBI in respect of other banks to Co-operative Banks as well for sound banking regulation, and by ensuring professionalism and enabling their access to capital. The amendments do not affect existing powers of the State Registrars of Co-operative Societies under state co-operative laws. The amendments do not apply to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) or co-operative societies whose primary object and principal business is long-term finance for agricultural development, and which do not use the word “bank” or “banker” or “banking” and do not act as drawees of cheques.

The Ordinance also amends Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, to enable making of a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of a banking company for protecting the interest of the public, depositors and the banking system and for securing its proper management, even without making an order of moratorium, so as to avoid disruption of the financial system.

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1634684

Madras HC Orders Judicial Inquiry Into Custodial Deaths Of Father-Son In Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi District [Read Order]

Jayaraj and fenix

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the jurisdictional Judicial Magistrate to conduct an enquiry into the alleged custodial deaths of a father-son duo who were lodged in Sub Jail, Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi District in Tamil Nadu.

The division bench comprising Justices P.N. Prakash and B. Pugalendhi has directed the Magistrate to visit to the local Police station and record the statements of the policemen, so as to gather an idea as to “where all the deceased were kept during their detention“.

The bench has also asked the Magistrate to take a photocopy of the case diary in the said case, for safe custody.

On Wednesday, the High Court had taken suo moto cognizance of the twin deaths, allegedly due to police excesses.

In the backdrop, an FIR was lodged against the deceased at Sathankulam Police Station on June 19, allegedly for violating lockdown restrictions and further for misbehaving with on-duty police personnel. The two were remanded to Judicial custardy at Sub Jail, Kovilpatti, on June 20, 2020, and died on the following days.

Taking notice of the matter, the division bench had ordered the Ordered the Tamil Nadu Police to submit a report on its probe into the incident, vide order dated June 24. The court had also directed that the autopsy of the deceased by videographed.

When the matter came up for hearing today, the court was informed that two Sub-Inspectors at the Sathankulam Police Station had been placed under suspension, and action had been taken against two Head Constables, who were allegedly associated with the custodial deaths.

The court has now ordered a judicial probe, and has listed the matter for consideration on June 30.

The bench has also taken notice of another report about an inmate of the Sub Jail, Kovilpatti who has suffered serious injuries and is under treatment. A judicial enquiry in this regard has also been ordered.

Following the custodial deaths as mentioned above, the Director General of Tamil Nadu Police had issued fresh guidelines (SOP) for arrest/remand of accused persons on June 24.

While appreciating the DG for his efforts, the court made it clear that the SOP should not remain on paper but, should be implemented in spirit as well.

In this regard, we suggest that the Police Department engages the services of counsellors and NGOs for providing counselling to the police personnel and their family members during this testing period,” the court ordered.

Rajasthan High Court to resume regular functioning from Monday, June 29-[Covid-19]

Rajasthan High Court

The High Court has notified the modalities for ensuring that hearings are conducted while maintaining norms for prevention of spread of COVID-19.

The Rajasthan High Court has notified that on conclusion of its summer vacation, it will start regular functioning from Monday, June 29 with preventive measures against COVID-19 still in place.

In its notification dated June 12, the Court has said that all Benches of the High Court will function regularly. The Benches will convene at 10:30 AM and sit till 4:30 PM while breaking for an hour for lunch. The notification to this effect says that listing of matters before each Court will be restricted to 100 items each. The Court schedule and listing restriction may be revised from time to time.

Steps will be taken for ensuring that sufficient distance is maintained between courtrooms and between chairs placed inside each courtroom, the notification says.

The Court will permit both forms of hearing – physical hearings as well as hearing through video conferencing – with certain conditions. The notification specifies,

“The hearing of only fresh and uncontested matters of where all the Counsel appearing in a case appear through video conferencing, shall be done through video conferencing.”

Physical hearings will be conducted first, followed by hearing through video conferencing.

For expeditious disposal of cases, the Court has also mandated exchange of written submissions by the parties in contested cases. All fresh filings may be done manually or through e-filing, the notification further adds. However, in case of manual filings, the counsel shall ensure that all precautionary measures are taken.

Presence of court clerks in the Court premises is sought to be minimized till normalcy returns, and entry inside the courtroom shall be granted only to those counsel who have to make submissions before the Court. Advocates are advised to come alone, while Senior Advocates are allowed to take assistance from only one other advocate. Entry of interns is prohibited.

Importantly, everyone in the Court premises has to mandatorily to wear a face mask; lawyers and staff have also been encouraged to wear hand gloves. Wearing of coats and gowns for advocates is made optional.

The personnel deputed at entry points for conducting screening of all entrants will be equipped with PPE kits. Advocates, court staff, and litigants coming from containment zones, hot spots or restricted areas will not be permitted to enter the Court premises.

The notice also mentions other details pertaining to maintenance of hygiene and requirement of sanitization of the premises from time to time.

NCLAT suspends all court work including virtual hearing, filing till July 3- Covid-19

In view of the COVID-19 situation, all court work, including virtual hearing and filing, shall remain suspended in National Company Law Appellate Tribunal till July 3.

With the imposition of a complete lockdown to contain the risk of COVID-19, hearing in all regular matters was adjourned from time to time.

Listing of urgent matters was nonetheless allowed by telephonically contacting the Registrar.

Less than a month ago, NCLAT had notified its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for conducting virtual hearings in urgent matters from June 1, 2020.

Read the Notice:-

One NCLT Bench cannot act as an appellate authority and stay an order passed by a coordinate Bench of the same tribunal: NCLAT

NCLAT

The order was passed by a two-member Bench of Member (Judicial) Venugopal M and Member (Technial) V. P. Singh

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has affirmed that a Bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) cannot act as an appellate authority and stay an order passed by a coordinate Bench of the same Tribunal. (Abhijit Guhathakurta, Monitoring Agency of the Corporate Debtor vs Royale Partners Investment Fund Ltd)

The order was passed by a two-member Bench of Member (Judicial) Venugopal M and Member (Techinal) VP Singh.

The Committee of Creditors of the Corporate Debtor had approved the resolution plan of Royale Partners Investment Fund Limited (Successful Resolution Applicant). Subsequently, the Adjudicating Authority/NCLT granted its nod to the decision after an application under Section 30, 31 IBC was filed.

The Monitoring Agency (Appellant) established under the Resolution Plan later moved the NCLT with an application for the implementation of the Resolution Plan on account of deliberate delay and failure on the part of the Successful Resolution Applicant.

The application was heard at length and orders were reserved by the Bench (erstwhile Bench) for January 30.

In the meantime, the Benches of NCLT Mumbai were re-constituted by the NCLT President.

Thereafter, Successful Resolution Applicant moved an application for certain relief in connection with the implementation of the resolution plan and the same got listed before a re-constituted Bench.

The reconstituted Bench heard the Successful Resolution Applicant’s application on February 12 and stayed the proceedings in the Appellant’s application.

The Appellant thus came in appeal before the NCLAT against the February 12 order stating that it was not consistent with ‘Judicial Discipline’ and should thus be set aside, in furtherance of substantial cause of justice.

In spite of the stay order, the erstwhile Bench passed the final orders in the Appellant’s application on February 19 and directed the Successful Resolution Applicant to implement the Resolution Plan within a week. Aggrieved by this order, a separate appeal was preferred by the Successful Resolution Applicant.

In response to the Appellant’s appeal, the Successful Resolution Applicant inter alia submitted that the role of the ‘Monitoring Agency’ was limited to managing the day-to-day affairs of the ‘Corporate Debtor’ and in the present case, the Agency had filed the application before the Adjudicating Authority without permission and sanction of the Steering Committee.

The NCLAT, in its order, noted that it was a matter of fact that in the newly reconstituted Bench, the Members, both Judicial and Technical, were different from the erstwhile Bench.

Thus, after considering the relevant NCTL Rules and the decisions of various courts on judicial discipline, NCLAT observed,’Probity’, ‘Judicial Decorum’, ‘Propriety’ and ‘Comity of Judicial Discipline’ require that a coordinate Bench cannot stay an order which was reserved by another coordinate Bench of the same ‘Tribunal’.NCLAT

It noted that till the erstwhile Bench pronounced the order, it was seized of the matter and retained dominion over the Appellant’s application and the stay order qua the erstwhile Bench’s order while hearing another application by the another party bristled with legal infirmity.

“.. the newly reconstituted Bench of ‘NCLT’ Mumbai, Court No. II cannot make an inroad in respect of a matter viz. MA No. 249/2020 wherein the ‘orders were reserved’ on 30.01.2020 by the erstwhile Bench. In short, the passing an order of stay of all proceedings in MA No. 249/2020 until the next date of hearing (28.02.2020) in MA No. 515/2020 by the newly re-constituted Bench, ‘NCLT’ Mumbai, Court No. II, on 12.02.2020 is perse an illegal, nullity and non-est one, in the eye of Law..”

The newly re-constituted Bench cannot sit in judgement as an ‘Appellate Authority’ in respect of a subject matter, in which an order was reserved by the erstwhile Bench, the NCLAT added.

It observed that the prudent option before the reconstituted Bench was to direct the Registry to place the successful resolution applicant’s application before the President for obtaining necessary orders on its listing before the erstwhile Bench.“Unfortunately, such a proper/traditional recourse, cemented on sound and healthy principle of judicial propriety was not resorted to.. the ‘judicial precedent’ requires that as a ‘rule of practice’, the same cannot be interfered with by the re-constituted Bench on any score. Only if the Members of the Adjudicating Authority(‘NCLT’) do not brush aside the orders passed by a ‘Coordinate Bench’ of the same Tribunal, Certainty and uniformity in ‘Law’ can be achieved and preserved in our administration of justice.”NCLAT

Consequently, with a view to prevent an aberration of justice and to secure the ends of justice, the NCLAT set aside the stay order “with a benign hope and trust that such slipup will not recur again in future“.

As far the contention of the Monitoring Agency not having the locus standing to file an application for the implementation of the resolution plan was concerned, the NCLAT stated that approval order of the Adjudicating Authority itself granted liberty to move applications for the implementation of the Resolution Plan.

“..in ensuring successful implementation of ‘Resolution Plan’, the ‘Monitoring Agency’ and the ‘Resolution Professional’ are to take a lead role in this regard.”, NCLAT said.

Senior Advocate Abhinav Vasisht with Advocates Avinash Subramanian, Aakrshan Sahay, Nakul Sachdeva appeared for the Appellant.

Senior Advocate Sudipto Sarkar with Advocates Kumar Anurag Singh, Naman Joshi appeared for the Successful Resolution Applicant.

Senior Advocate Arun Kathpalia represented Intervenor IDBI Bank.

Bombay Highcourt Fines APMC Rs.25,000 For Misrepresenting Facts Regarding Shifting Bakra Mandi From Residential Area

Bombay Highcourt

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday imposed a cost of Rs.25,000 on the Agriculture Produce Market Committee for misrepresenting facts regarding shifting of a Bakra Mandi (goat market) from a residential area in Wathoda to Kalamna market yard.

Division bench of Justice RK Deshpande and Justice Amit Borkar of the Nagpur bench were hearing a PIL filed by aggrieved residents of the Wathoda area who challenged the order passed by the Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Nagpur, establishing the Bakra Mandi at Wathoda on May 4, 2020 allowing establishment of Bakra Mandi at Wathoda.

In the previous hearing, on May 26, APMC supported the cause of the petitioner residents and was anxious to get the order passed by the Deputy Municipal Commissioner establishing the Bakra Mandi at Wathoda, set aside.

Court noted-

“In the absence of any claim for time to establish Bakra Mandi in Kalamna Market Yard, we carried an impression that all the infrastructural facilities for such a market are ready and the market can be made functional immediately.”

Thus, the PIL was disposed of by the Court permitting the APMC to establish Bakra Mandi and upon such creation of Bakra Mandi, order dated May 4 passed by the Deputy Municipal Commissioner shall stand recalled.

However, in yesterday’s hearing, a complaint was made before the Court that neither the APMC has created the Bakra Mandi nor the NMC has shifted Bakra Mandi from Wathoda to Kalamna.

APMC’s counsel submitted that for creation of all the infrastructural facilities in the area of the at least four weeks time is required.

Calling it an excuse, Court said-

“We are unable to understand such a stand in the light of what transpired before us on 26.05.2020 and we were made to carry an impression that the APMC is prepared to establish the Bakra Mandi immediately or at least within a period of eight days and thus we find it to be total mis-representation on the part of the APMC. We therefore, direct the APMC to deposit costs of Rs. 25,000 within a period of one week from today for misrepresenting the Court.”

As Delhi Surpasses Mumbai For Highest Number of Cases, Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Submit An Action Plan To Ramp Up Testing- Read order

As Delhi tops the list of cities having the highest number of COVID19 cases in India, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to submit a status report highlighting the action plan undertaken to ramp up testing in the national capital.

Covid-19 Test

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has further directed the Delhi Government to indicate the degree of compliance with the recommendations of the Committee constituted by the Lieutenant Governor to monitor Delhi’s preparedness to deal with COVID19.

The order has come in a writ petition moved by Mr Rakesh Malhotra seeking ramping of testing facilities for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients of COVID19.

During the proceedings, the Delhi Government submitted the report of the committee constituted by the LG of Delhi wherein the following parts were cited as relevant:

  1. The Committee has agreed that to avoid duplication of data entries on multiple portals, the private laboratories will be permitted to enter relevant information on the RT-PCR App and on the ICMR portal and they will not be required to upload the data or make entries on any other portal or App.
  2. The Committee has opined that the phlebotomists attached to the private labs who are required to collect the samples on site may fill up Sample Requisition Forms (SRF) in hard copy and subsequently, the said information may be captured and uploaded on the RT-PCR App after going back to the laboratory.
  3. It has been agreed that updation of the information will be done by the private laboratories within 30 minutes, for a positive test and 90 minutes, for a negative test, as recommended by the ICMR. For this purpose, the Delhi Government shall augment the number of data entry operators at the labs to facilitate entries on the ICMR portal
  4. The Committee has also recommended that to ensure that all the samples are processed within a maximum period of 48 hours reckoned from the time, the sample reaches the concerned lab and the private laboratories have been advised not to accept samples beyond their processing capacity.
  5. Lastly, the Committee has suggested that an interactive platform be identified and virtual meetings be convened between the GNCTD and the private laboratories to iron out any difficulties that may be faced by them in the future.

In addition to this, the Delhi Government informed the court that the continuous interaction between the officers of the Health Department, Delhi Government, and the private laboratories is ensured through a WhatsApp group and virtual meetings.

‘Total of 1,09,196 samples have been collected over the past 6 days with an average of 18,200 samples per day’, the Delhi Government submitted.

Delhi Government further submitted that it is proposing to commence conducting Anti Body test across the city at the rate of 4,000 to 5,000 tests per day commencing from 27.06.2020.

At this point, the court directed the Delhi Government to state on affidavit as to how it is proposing to ramp up the tests across Delhi, which has a population of 1.67 crores.

Delhi Government is further directed to upload the ICMR’s advisory dated 23/06/20 on its website which states that Rapid Antibody Testing can be used by all hospitals, laboratories and State Governments including COVID-19 private hospitals for which they will be required to register with the ICMR.

Therefore, the court said:

‘GNCTD is directed to file a fresh Status Report indicating compliances of the Minutes of Meeting of the Committee constituted by the Lt. Governor, GNCTD. A tabulated statement indicating the number of tests in all categories undertaken by the State from 18.6.2020 to 30.6.2020, and the further action plan to ramp up the testing in Delhi be filed well before the next date of hearing.’

The court will next take up the matter on July 02.

Supreme Court stays FIRs against Nupur Sharma, Ajeet Bharti and other OpIndia editors and writers; issues notice to State of West Bengal

Supreme court of India

While various other mainstream news outlets also carried articles and news pieces on the concerned subjects, the police registered FIRs only against the petitioners, the plea filed in the Supreme Court states.

The Supreme Court today stayed three First Information Reports (FIRs) registered in West Bengal against online publication OpIndia’s editors and writers including Nupur Sharma and Ajeet Bharti.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai took up the plea filed by OpIndia editor Nupur Sharma and three others via video conferencing today. While staying the FIRs under challenge, the Court also issued notice to the State of West Bengal.

The petitioners have also sought for exclusion of the police in matters concerning deletion of content on the internet, stating that there already exists a regulatory mechanism for overseeing such content as per Section 69A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act).“In pursuit of these illegal and malafide objectives, the Government of West Bengai has completely undermined and circumvented the applicable law contained in Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguard for Blocking Information by Public) Rules, 2009.”Plea filed in Supreme Court

Three FIRs were filed against the petitioners in relation to different stories carried by the OpIndia platform, one of which is eight months old, the plea states. While various other mainstream news outlets also carried articles and news pieces on the concerned subjects, the police registered FIRs only against the petitioners. Thus, the registration of the FIRs amounts to brute force, the plea states.

It is the petitioners’ claim that the “authoritarian Kolkata police” has resorted to using the registration of FIRs as a way to “intimidate journalists” in order to seek deletion of online content and reports that shine a light on the state of affairs in West Bengal.

The police’s action is one aimed at scuttling and muzzling free speech and the notices issued under Section 414 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) are done with the intention to harass the petitioners, the plea further goes on to allege. It adds that the police has refused to supply a copy of the FIRs to the petitioners or even upload the same on its website, despite several requests made for the same.

The state has “blatantly misused” the powers of the police under the CrPC to “scuttle bonafide instances of journalism” that may inconvenience the state and its political executive, the petitioners say. Contravention of Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution of India is claimed.

The petition details the particulars of the articles pursuant to which FIRs were registered. Details of notices issued to the petitioners by the police, as well as the investigation conducted pursuant to these notices is also detailed. It highlights that even family members of the petitioners were questioned by the police.

Moreover, the plea alleges that the police directed the petitioners to take down certain content from their platform as well as from social media platform Twitter, failing which the petitioners would be arrested. This alleged sequence of events amounts to extortion, the plea states.

“The State of West Bengal is unrelenting in its endeavour to hound down the Petitioners and in the process has contrived to get a further FIR registered against the petitioners under Sections 153A/504/505/120B of the IPC…”

The third FIR, it is averred, is in connection to a news item that is eight months old and does not make out the ingredients of the offences alleged by the police. Further, a news report on the same was published by other outlets, but action taken only against the petitioners.

Claiming to be victims of the extra-constitutional design of the State of West Bengal, the petitioners approached the Supreme Court to quash the FIRs.

The petitioners were represented by Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani and Advocates Sandeep Kapur and Madhulika Rai Sharma.

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.