The petitioners are dealers and artisans in ivory who carry on the business and trade in ivory including the manufacture of articles derived from ivory lawfully imported into India prior to the ban. They imported part of the stock of mammoth ivory from Russia and part of it from Hong Kong for the purposes of the business.
In this case the petitioner had challenged the constitutional validity of Amendment Act 44, 1991, to the Constitution of India, which prohibited trade in imported ivory. The appeals which arise out of a common judgment and order dated 20.3.1997 passed by a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court.
The petitioner aggrieved by the letter dated 23.6.2003 whereby it has been informed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest that the petitioner's request of import of Caiman Crocodilus Fuscus skin from USA cannot be granted. The petitioner intended to import tanned skin of Caiman Crocodilus Fuscus from the USA.
The question raised in this appeal is: whether a specified officer empowered under Section 54(1) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 as amended by the Wild Life(Protection) Amendment Act, 2002 (Act 16 of 2003) to compound offences has power, competence and authority, on payment of a sum of money by way of composition of the offence by a pers