A Delhi court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that no coercive action be taken against businessman Ayaz Ahmed in peacock feather smuggling case till April 22.
"Without going into the merits of the case, till next date of hearing (April 22) no coercive action be taken by the CBI against the applicant/accused (Ayaz Ahmed)," the Court said.
Special Judge Anurag Sain adjourned the matter for further hearing after the CBI sought time to file the reply.
The court was hearing Ahmed's anticipatory bail plea who is facing a probe into the seizure of over 21 lakh peacock tail feathers by the Customs department that was being smuggled to China disguised as plastic pipes.
The Customs team had seized the 2,565-kilogram consignment, valued at Rs 5.25 crore and packed in 77 packages, from Inland Container Depot, Tughlaqabad in Delhi in March which was allegedly booked by the Seelampur-based exporter who owns a company named Galaxy Rider.
The agency has booked Ahmed and his company in the case.
According to sources, the seized feathers include those plucked by the way of poaching of peacocks and this is part of a huge criminal network. "Without poaching or hunting, it is not possible to acquire such a huge consignment of feathers," an official said.
The CBI has alleged that between September 2020 and February 2021, various consignments of peacock tail feathers through 26 shipping bills were exported by Ahmed's company using the services of Logistic Curator India Pvt Ltd to a consignee in China by concealing the package details.
Peacock is a protected bird under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which prohibits its hunting.
( With inputs from ANI )
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