1. This rule must succeed on a very short point The petitioner is the President of the Nakashipara Union Board in the district of Nadia and he had a pistol license, being License No. 474 XVI. This license was cancelled by the District Magistrate, Nadia, by his order dated 9-11-1949 and the order of cancellation was as follows:
'I have got some adverse report against Sri Samarendra Ray son of late Baroda Prosad Ray of Dadupur, P.S. Nakashipara, District Nadia, and 1 consider it undesirable that he should possess any license for a revolver. His license for possessing a revolver is, therefore, cancelled. Necessary action for' giving effect to the this order should he taken from the Arms Act Department.'
2. As a result, the petitioner had to surrender the license and the revolver, which I am informed has already been forfeited and sold, by the opposite party. This Rule is for setting aside and/or quashing that order of cancellation and for return of the pistol. I am afraid that this order is bad on the face of it, as it does not satisfy the tests which I have laid down in -- 'Haji Md. Vakil v. Commissioner of Police', : AIR1954Cal157 (A), and also in my judgment in -- 'Kshirode Chandra Pal v. District Magistrate, Howrah', CR No. 655 of 1953, D/- 10-1-1955 (Cal) (B).
An order of the description must pass three tests and this order does not pass the tests. Firstly, it does not 'record the reasons. I have already held that a mere reference to a Police report is not recording reasons. The Police report is not a part of the order and there is nothing to show as to which part of the report was accepted by the District Magistrate and formed the basis of his order. There is also no statement that the Magistrate deemed it necessary for the security of public peace to cancel or suspend the license. The essential pre-requisites of Section 18, Arms Act of 1878 (11. 'of 1878), have not therefore been complied with. In the meanwhile, however, the license has expired in the normal course.
Therefore, although I set aside and/or quash this order, it does not mean that the petitioner will necessarily get another license. He may, however be in a batter position to apply for a new license, and such a new application must be dealt with on its merits. As regards the return of the pistol, the opposite party states that the pistol has been forfeited and disposed of. That action has been taken upon an illegal order and necessary consequences must follow.
In this Rule, however, I cannot give an order for restoration because that is physically impossible. The petitioner will be at liberty to take such action as he may be advised in respect thereof.
3. The Rule is, therefore, made absolute and the Order of the District Magistrate dated 9-11-1949 is set aside and/or quashed and a Writ in the nature of Mandamus will issue directing the respondents to forbear from giving effect to it. If the pistol is available, the opposite party is restrained from disposing it of pending any application for a fresh license.
4. There will be no order for costs.