The Lucknow Bench, comprising Justices Abdul Mateen and Sudhir Kumar Saxena, further directed the UP and Central governments to regulate the system of issuing licences. (Agencies)
The order was issued October 7 in response to a writ petition filed by one Jitendra Singh. While fixing November 25 as the next date of hearing, the court also directed the UP government to specify the policy of refusing and cancelling the licence on the basis of criminal antecedents.
The Bench said that Principal Secretary (Home) had filed an affidavit which displayed a "very shocking" state of affairs.
The court said that according to Principal Secretary (Home), in UP 11,22,844 arms licences have been issued to 11,02,113 persons and 11,04,701 arms have been issued to the licence holders.
"It is stated in the affidavit that as many as 5,730 persons, against whom criminal trials are pending, are holding arm licences, while 1,061 persons are having licences against whom cases are registered at various police stations," the petitioner said.
The court said that it was submitted that total number of licence holders in the state was far in excess with the arms available to police force.
"Entire 2.13 lakh force of state police has 2.25 lakh weapons with them. Thus, the private citizens possess weapons more than five times to the force of the state. This does not include the figures of unauthorized arms," it said.
"It is further stated quoting figures from NCRB that more than half of the killings from firing in the country were reported from UP," the court said. The court said that experience show that arms licences were procured merely for flaunting the status as it has become status symbol.
The court also said, "There was no effective mechanism to verify the criminal background otherwise six thousand people would not have been successful in obtaining licences."
There is no guideline to check the need of specific weapon for example in forest bordering area SBBL/DBBL guns may be useful which may not be the case with a businessman.
The Lucknow Bench, comprising Justices Abdul Mateen and Sudhir Kumar Saxena, further directed the UP and Central governments to regulate the system of issuing licences.