Malayalam Actor Mohanlal will now have to face trial in a wildlife crime case against him after a trial court in Kerala dismissed the State’s plea to withdraw the prosecution proceedings. The actor was charged with the illegal possession of two pairs of ivory by the Income Tax Department.
The actor was charged with the illegal imposition of two pairs of ivory. The income tax officer recovered the two pairs of ivory from his residence in Kochi in the raid. A case was accordingly registered against him by the Forest Department under section 50 of the wildlife protection act.
Section 50 talks about empowering any forest officers or any police officers not below the rank of sub-inspector to enter, search, arrest and detain a person involved in an offence against the act. The actor had applied to the government urging it to withdraw the case claiming that the ivory was purchased legally. Following this claim, he was provided relaxation by the State which asked the prosecution to file a plea to withdraw the case.
However, the judicial first class magistrate dismissed the State’s plea where it had contended that proceeding with the case would be a futile exercise and a waste of the precious time of the court.
The petitioner opposed the withdrawal plea through an advocate who said that the ownership certificate provided to the actor is void. It was argued in the court that a mere certificate was not the ground for withdrawing the case against Mohanlal.
The petitioner also added that no case has been charged against the actor for ivory artefacts, adding that these artefacts were found with two pairs of elephant tusks.
As the trial court dismissed the plea of Kerala’s government to withdraw the prosecution proceedings against him.