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Gave 355 arms licences in 3 yrs: state to HC

The state government on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that it has granted 355 arms licenses during the last three years.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 12, 2009 1:55 am

The state government on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that it has granted 355 arms licenses during the last three years.

The state produced the figures before the court in response to a petition filed by Khan Abdul Wahab who had apprehended a threat to his life but was refused an arms license.

The court had earlier remarked that when there is danger,the police don’t protect.

The petitioner,an advocate,has defended two accused in the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar blast case and is also defending Emile Jerome,an accused in the Neeraj Grover murder case. He had applied for an arms license in August last year stating that he apprehended a threat to his life.

The state today submitted that licenses have been granted to various persons including police officers,gold merchants and one advocate.

The court asked about the criteria for getting the license.

The court also has sought the details of license granted to the advocate by Thursday.

The state had earlier told the court that after receiving the petitioner’s application,the state home department that sanctions the issuance of the license,had inferred that there was no threat to his life.

The court,however,was of the view that there is “no application of mind” in the police’s decision of refusing a license to Wahab on the grounds that there was no threat to his life.  Wahab’s counsel S R Chitnis had earlier submitted that there have been attacks on criminal advocates like Majeed Memon and two advocates who were killed — Liaqat Ali and Kishore Sutrale — were undefended. Chitnis also pointed out that special public prosecutors are provided with security from the government,but defense advocates have to watch out for themselves.

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