The Arms Act, 1959
13. Grant of licences –
(1) An application for the grant of a licence under Chapter II shall be made to the licensing authority and shall be in such form, contain such particulars and be accompanied by such fee, if any, as may be prescribed.
(2) [ Note: Subs. by Act 25 of 1983, s. 6 (w.e.f. 22-6-1983) ] On receipt of an application, the licensing authority shall call for the report of the officer in charge of the nearest police station on that application, and such officer shall send his report within the prescribed time.
(2A) The licensing authority, after such inquiry, if any, as it may, consider necessary, and after considering the report received under sub-section(2), shall, subject to the other provisions of this Chapter, by order in writing either grant the licence or refuse to grant the same.
Provided that where the officer in charge of the nearest police station does not send his report on the application within the prescribed time, the licensing authority may, if it deem fit, make such order, after the expiry of the prescribed time, without further waiting for the report].
(3) The licensing authority shall grant –
(a) A licence under section 3 where the licence is required –
(i) By a citizen of India in respect of a smooth bore gun having a barrel of not less than twenty inches in length to be used for protection or sport or in respect of muzzle loading gun to be used for bona fide crop protection:
Provided that where having regard to the circumstances of any case, the licensing authority is satisfied that in muzzle loading gun will not be sufficient for crop protection, the licensing authority may grant a licence in respect of any other smooth bore gun a aforesaid for such protection, or
(ii) In respect of a point 22 bore rifle or an air rifle to be used for target practice by a member of rifle club or rifle association licensed or recognised by the Central Government ;
(b) A licence under section 3 in any other case or licence under section 4, section 5, section 6, section 10 or section 12, if the licensing authority is satisfied that the person by whom the licence is required has a good reason for obtaining the same.
(i) As far as the power and discretion of the licensing authority, which includes the Government, is concerned in respect of arms under the general category, it may grant or refuse the licence, even if the procedural nuisances have been fully adhered to [Kapildeo Singh v. State of Bihar & Ors; AIR 1987 Pat. 122(125)].
(ii) For a ‘licensing authority’ as defined u/s 2(f), it is obligatory to grant a licence in an Indian citizen applies for it for the reason of his protection. In that case, refusal to grant it will be unjustified & unsustainable, provided the applicant has duly justified the reason and adhered to the procedures/conditions as laid down in this regard [Ram Khelawan Misra v. State of U.P. & Anr; AIR 1982 All. 283 (284,2850].
(iii) Although there is hardly any provision in the Act or the Rules specifying any time-frame as such, but if an application for a licence for a non-prohibited arm is not disposed of within three (3) months, it will be deemed to have been allowed after the expiry of such a time –frame. The point is to make the licensing authority realise that they can not prolong or linger-on the disposal of such application (s) at their own sweet will [Ganesh Chandra Bhatt v. Distt. Magistrate, Almora &Ors. AIR 1993 ALL. 291].