The Perumbavoor Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Saturday dismissed the 2011 Ivory Possession case against Tamil star Mohanlal. The court observed that the Wild Life (Protection) Act was enacted to promote the broader interest of the country and not to protect the right of individuals, PTI reported.
Perumbavoor Judicial First Class Magistrate, Anju Cletus, had on August 17 dismissed the plea of the state government saying "no party including the State can claim the benefit of the laches from their side". The court further observed that the request for withdrawal of the prosecution in the case was based on an ownership certificate issued to the accused, which was found during the probe.
What is the 2011 Ivory Possession case against Mohanlal?
In 2011, the Income Tax department raided Mohanlal's residence at Thevara in Kochi and seized four elephant tusks. Following the raid, the Forest department booked a case against Mohanlal for the illegal possession of two sets of ivory. The forest officials took seven years to file a chargesheet against the actor.
Later, the state government approached the Perumbavoor Judicial Frist Class Magistrate Court and requested the dismissal of the case. However, the court refused the petition filed by the state government following which the actor moved to the high court. The state government argued that there were no violations and the actor had submitted that he is allowed to keep ivory as his license is retroactive.
The actor also claimed that he bought the ivory from two individuals without violating any law. In 2015, the Forest Department issued an ownership certificate to the actor. The trial court rejected the forest department's demand to withdraw the case against Mohanlal and proceeded with the case citing all are equal before the law.