The judges expressed their annoyance when informed about the death of two rare falcons in the custody of Customs department due to negligence.
Saeed Ahmed, a falcon trainer, had filed a petition against the Customs and wildlife departments for confiscating ten rare falcons belonging to a dignitary of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The customs officials on the other hand claimed that Ahmed had acquired the precious migratory birds illegally. He had failed to provide documentary evidence allowing him to keep them, they asserted.
The petitioner maintained that he possessed a license from the Sindh Wildlife Department permitting him to keep the falcons. The UAE consulate had authorised him to train them for the Arab dignitaries, he claimed.
On Wednesday, Saeed told the judges that two birds died due to the negligence of the Customs officials, who had kept them in poor conditions.
The Sindh High Court has directed the wildlife department to file their replies. It has also restrained the Customs department from releasing the birds till the next hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2012.