Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday stayed federal government’s notification through which licenses for all automatic weapons of prohibited bore were suspended and cancelled.

 A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of a petition moved by Ijazur Rehman challenging the government’s decision to suspend licenses for all prohibited bore weapons and suspended the notification.

 Besides suspending the notification, the IHC bench also directed the federal government to submit its reply within fifteen days.

 Ministry of interior had directed the license holders to change their weapons with semi automatic licenses.

 The petitioner moved the court through his counsel Barrister Adana Rohela and nominated federation of Pakistan through secretary ministry of interior, National Database & Registration Authority through its Chairman and Chief Commissioner Islamabad as respondents.

 He adopted in his petition that the suspension or cancellation of the legally issued armed licenses of the petitioner amounts to an extreme penal action, and such extreme measures cannot be taken without due process of law.

 He added that the ministry of interior on December 26, 2017 through a notification had suspended all licenses for automatic weapons of prohibited bores and a deadline of January 31, 2018 was set to change prohibited weapons with un-prohibited weapons.

Owners of automatic weapons have the options to convert their weapon to semi-automatic or return it to the government in exchange for Rs 50,000.

 Petitioner’s counsel said that after 18th amendment, the government is not empowered to either issue or suspend and cancel weapon licenses and it is the provincial government instead.

Moreover if the federal government wanted to suspend licenses, it should have issued show cause notices to the persons holding these.

 Therefore, he prayed to the court to declare the said notification illegal and unlawful.