Decided on December 20,1968



- (1.) This writ petition as amended by CMP. No. 3928 of 1968 seeks to quash Exts. P2 and P3 orders. The petitioner is the holder of a gun licence, and, according to him, has been so, for the past 25 years. The current licence is valid upto 31-12-1968. By Ext. P1 notice dated 10-9-1968, the petitioner was directed to appear before the Collector of Calicut on 23-9-1968, to enquire into the allegations of misbehaviour and misuse of the gun made against him. (Ext. P1 is actually only a notice postponing the enquiry originally fixed to 13-9-1968. The first notice of the proposed enquiry was read out at the hearing by counsel for the petitioner, and it is practically in the same terms). After enquiry, by Ext. P2 order the Collector found that it was not in the interest of public peace and safety to allow the petitioner to keep the gun and ordered under S.17(3) of the Arms Act, 1959, that the gun licence standing in the petitioner's name be revoked. Ext. P3 is a copy of the consequential order, cancelling the petitioner's gun licence.
(2.) This writ petition was admitted on 27-9-1968. On CMP. No. 9840 of 1968 filed by the petitioner to suspend the operation of Ext. P2, no interim order was passed; but on 18 10 1968, I directed that the writ petition should be posted for orders on 18-11-1968. On that day, the O. P. was directed to be posted for hearing on 9-12-1968. The writ petition was accordingly heard in part on 13-12-1968, and, at the request of the counsel for the respondent it was adjourned to 19-12-1968, and again, at his request, to today. The counter affidavit in the writ petition was filed this day.
(3.) A preliminary objection has been raised that the impugned order is appealable under S.18 of the Arms Act. Having regard to the fact that the writ petition was admitted as early as 27-9-1968, and has been pending in this court since then, I am not disposed to entertain this preliminary objection and to stultify the petitioner on the ground that the alternative remedy of appeal has not been exercised. I would accordingly proceed to deal with this petition on its merits.;

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