Mohanlal to face trial in illegal ivory possession case



Actor Mohanlal will have to face trial in the wildlife crime case booked against him for the illegal possession of two pairs of ivory as a trial court on Thursday dismissed the State government’s plea to withdraw the prosecution proceedings against him.

The reasons for the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court 3, Perumbavoor, rejected the plea will be known only when the order is uploaded by the court.

James Mathew and A. A. Poulose, two public-spirited persons, challenged the withdrawal plea. Though the trial court had earlier dismissed their plea to intervene in the case as third party Intervenors, the Kerala High Court had ruled in their favour and permitted them to put forward their arguments.

Petitioners’ contention

Though the assistant public prosecutor (APP) contended that proceeding with the case would be a futile exercise and waste of the precious time of the court, Abraham P. Meachinkara, counsel for the petitioners, opposed the withdrawal of prosecution by arguing that it was against the provisions of law and legal precedents.

The certificate of ownership for the ivory issued to Mr. Mohanlal was void. The grant of the certificate cannot be treated as a ground for permitting withdrawal of the case. No case was charged against the actor for the 13 ivory artefacts that were found along with two pairs of elephant tusks, argued Mr. Meachinkara.

The case

The Forest department had booked the actor after an income tax raid at his residence revealed the illegal possession of the ivory.

Section 50 of the Wild Life Protection Act prescribes imprisonment for a term not less than three years and extendable up to seven years and a fine for offences related to animals specified in Schedule One of the Act or meat of any such animals or animal article, trophy or uncured trophy derived from such animals.


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Printable version | Jun 10, 2022 8:04:02 am |