Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has discharged Ritu Ansal, wife of Ansal Buildwell chairman and managing director Gopal Ansal, in a case of alleged possession of shahtoosh shawls in violation of the Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972.

Officials of the Wildlife Department had recovered 55 shawls from her possession during a raid at her 6 Aurangzeb Road residence in New Delhi in 2000. The Department had conducted the raid following information about recovery of the shawls from the Income Tax Department. The Income Tax officials had gone there to assess the value of the shawls.

Plea against order

The High Court discharged her on a petition against the order by an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) dismissing her plea for discharge in the case. She had asked for discharge on the ground of an amendment to the Act by which Section 40-A was added to it in 2003. She had later also sought her discharge under the Criminal Procedure Code.

The ACMM had dismissed her second application filed under the Code.

Challenging the ACMM order, counsel for Ritu Ansal submitted that the complaint against his client had abated following the amendment to the Act.Allowing her petition, the Court said: “I hold that after coming into force Section 40-A, the complaint against the petitioner stood abated. The proceedings conducted by the ACMM after enforcement of the Section, therefore, stand vitiated.”