Kerala

Case against Mohanlal a futile exercise: Kerala government

Legality regarding elephant tusks accepted by competent authority

The State government wants to withdraw the prosecution of actor Mohanlal in an ivory possession case as it is “satisfied that the continuance of the prosecution of this case is a futile exercise and total wastage of the precious time” of court.

In his application for withdrawal of prosecution, the Assistant Public Prosecutor has requested the court to stop the prosecution “immediately for the interest of justice.”

The Hindu had earlier reported that the State government had issued a no-objection certificate for the withdrawal of prosecution.

The State contends that the legality of the possession of two elephant tusks by Mr. Mohanlal was accepted by the competent authority under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 by issuing him a certificate of ownership. The possession and custody of the elephant tusks thus become legal after the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) issued him the certificate, it submitted.

Also read: State to drop case against Mohanlal

However, the present CWW had noted that the certificate was issued by violating the due process of law and not holding a ‘proper inquiry regarding the legitimacy of elephant tusks and ivory.’

The State was of the view that further conduct of the “criminal trial may go against the good faith amongst the parties” as far as the certificate of ownership issued to Mr. Mohanlal is concerned.

As the government had issued the actor the certificate of ownership, it “now cannot go back from that ownership certificate,” and it was “stopped from contradicting, deny or declare to be false the previous statement made by the actor in the court,” the prosecutor submitted.

The “government should not be allowed to revert from its promises” in order to “keep the faith of the people and in the interest of good governance.”

The “prosecutor, after applying his free mind in the matter, considers that a withdrawal from the prosecution in the said circumstances is necessarily based on equity and good conscience to meet the broad ends of justice,” it was submitted.

The State noted that there had been “an unexplained inordinate delay in filing an occurrence report” before the court “even after the reliable information regarding the offence in question,” which “showed that the prosecution was initiated after an afterthought.”

The factual situation in the case and the relative positions were applicable to all accused in this case even though ownership certificate was issued to Mr. Mohanlal, the prosecutor argued.

The court has posted the case for July.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 4:12:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/case-against-mohanlal-a-futile-exercise-kerala-government/article31927212.ece

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