Madurai, Jun 29: The Madras high court bench proclaimed that the citizens could possess weapons and revenue and police officials could not deny them arms licence by citing law and order problem.
Justice D Hariparandhaman said that unless the applicants' antecedents or propensities do not entitle them to the privilege, the authorities should give licence for self-defence.
Hearing on a petition filed by an agriculturist, S Rajkapur, who was denied licence by the commissioner for revenue administration as well as Theni district revenue officer in 2004 and 2005 to possess a double barrel gun, the court pronounced its order.
He said that the Arms act of 1959 was enacted only to lessen the rigours of the Arms act of 1878, which made it difficult for law abiding citizens to possess fire arms for self-defence whereas terrorists, dacoits and other anti-social elements are using not only civilian weapons, but even bombs.
The 1959 arms act also intended to recognise the right of the state to requisition the services of every citizen during national emergencies.
But, also arms licence can be denied only if there is a threat of violating the public peace and safety which are of a far greater magnitude than a law and order problem.
The petitioner said that he was residing in a farm house in Theni and he wanted to possess a gun for self-protection while carrying huge amount of cash and also protect crops from wild animals.