THE Allahabad High Court has restrained the Uttar Pradesh government from issuing new arms licences after it observed that the number of licenced weapons with people in state is more than five times the arms available with police.
The Lucknow Bench,comprising Justices Abdul Mateen and Sudhir Kumar Saxena,also directed the state and central governments to regulate the system of issuing licences. The court order came on October 7 while hearing a writ petition filed by one Jitendra Singh.
Fixing November 25 as the next date of hearing,the court directed the state government to specify a policy of refusing and cancelling the licence on the basis of criminal antecedents.
The petition claimed that 5,730 persons,against whom criminal trials are pending,and 1,061,against whom cases are registered at various police stations,are holding arm licences.
The Bench,citing an affidavit filed by Principal Secretary (Home),said,11,22,844 arms licences have been issued to 11,02,113 persons and 11,04,701 arms issued to the licence holders.
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 unauthorised arms, the bench said citing the affidavit.
It said that as per NCRB figures more than half of the killings from firing in the country were reported from UP.