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HC quashes order refusing renewal of former DGP’s arms licence

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SHILLONG, May 13: The High Court of Meghalaya has set aside and quashed an impugned order which rejected the appeal for renewal of an arms licence by former DGP, William Richmond Marbaniang.
The order in question, dated May 19, 2023, stated that Marbaniang’s application for renewal was rejected on the ground that he is said to be involved in a Rynjah PS case of 2007 under Section 302 IPC. It added that the licence would be renewed till such case is dropped or dismissed by the court.
Marbaniang, the petitioner, was an arms licence holder of two firearms — a Cogswell and Harrison (0.12 bore DBBL gun) and a .22 Bore Rifle, made in Belgium FNB.
The said licence was supposed to be renewed every three years which was done so till January 1, 2019, valid up to December 31, 2021, whereupon, the petitioner has then submitted the licence in the Office of the District Magistrate, East Khasi Hills, for the process of renewal of the same.
After taking a careful look at the case, the Court was of the considered opinion that the impugned order has been passed without any application of mind and hence, is deemed to have been arbitrarily done so to the detriment of the petitioner’s cause.
The petitioner was, however, directed to file a fresh application for renewal of his firearms.
The licencing authority is to consider application in accordance with law and related rules in the light of the observations made hereinabove, the high court said.

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