ILNS: A Delhi court on Tuesday directed that no coercive action be taken against businessman Ayaz Ahmed, who is accused of smuggling 2,500 kg peacock feathers to China through his company, till April 22.
“Without going into the merits of the case, till next date of hearing, no coercive action be taken by the CBI against the applicant/accused,” said Special CBI Judge Anurag Sain while slating the matter for further hearing on April 22.
The orders were passed after the counsel appearing for the CBI sought some more time to file a response in the matter. The CBI recently booked Ahmed and company Galaxy Rider for allegedly smuggling peacock tail feathers to a China-based entity.
The probe agency has booked Ayaz under section 120B (Criminal Conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He is also booked under section 51 read with Section 58 of the The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. It is alleged that several consignments of these peacock feathers were sent via 26 shipping bills from September 2020 to February this year.
The alleged scam came to light after the Delhi Customs seized 21 lakh pieces of peacock tail feathers, weighing over 2,500 kilograms, while they were allegedly being smuggled to China.
The consignment was seized at the Inland Container Depot in Delhi’s Tughlakabad. It had been booked by Galaxy Rider through two shipping bills dated February 26, 2021.
The consignment, booked through Logistic Curator India Private Limited, consisted of 77 packages weighing about 2,565 kg, with an estimated value of about Rs 5.25 core.
The accused had declared the contents as “plastic flexible pipes.” The First Information Report alleged that the seized feathers had been plucked by way of poaching peacocks and that its smuggling was part of a huge criminal network.
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The peacock, the national bird of India, is protected under Schedule-I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act. The hunting of peacocks is also prohibited under the Act.