A FORMER Bahujan Samaj Party leader who later floated his own political party, Dr Suresh Mane, is hopeful after the Bombay High Court advised Mumbai Police to review his request for a weapon licence. Mane, also the former head of the Department of Law at Mumbai University, had sought a licence to possess a pistol to “protect himself” from enemies. The application rejected by the deputy commissioner of police by an order dated March 20, 2014.
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The Bombay HC has now asked the appellate authority to look into his plea “afresh”. The application was rejected “The case made out by the petitioner is that he holds a Doctorate degree in Law. It is his contention that he has been working as an office bearer of a political party for several years, and has to visit different parts of the state in his authority. His contention is that there is a risk to his life when he travels to certain areas,” the court observed.
Mane is the founder president of Bahujan Republican Socialist Party which will be formally launched on December 5 in Mumbai. He was formerly with the BSP and held charge of Vidarbha, Telangana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. “I have been in politics for several years. One tends to make enemies along the way as long as he is in active politics. I need the gun for self-protection,” Mane said. Stating that there have been attacks on him, he further said, “I can’t trust anyone else to protect me. That is why I had sought a license for a gun. Look at rationalist Govind Pansare’s case-the police couldnt do anything.”
While hearing the matter, a bench of AS Oka and VL Achliya said, “The only reason recorded by the appellate authority is that the appellant (Mane) has failed to establish that there is danger to his life. The order does not reflect consideration of the documents relied upon by the petitioner as well as relevant records produced by police. Even reasons in brief have not been recorded by the appellate authority for coming to the conclusion that the appellant has failed to establish his apprehension. Going by the appellate authority’s order, this is not a case where police found anything adverse against the petitioner,” the HC said.