KOCHI: Though the Perumbavoor Judicial First Class Magistrate Court (JFMC-3) has dismissed the petition filed by the state government to withdraw the case against actor Mohanlal for possession of elephant tusks, the Kerala High Court will take a final call on the proceedings against him.
The trial court dismissed the withdrawal petition pointing out that a writ petition challenging the legality of the ownership certificate issued to Mohanlal by the state government is pending before the High Court. Nothing will stand in the way of withdrawing the prosecution against Mohanlal and others if the ownership certificate is in accordance with the law, the court observed.
However, third party intervenors A A Poulose and James Mathew challenged the withdrawal of the case pointing out that the government has not issued a gazette notification regarding the ownership of the tusks by Mohanlal and hence the certificate of ownership has no legal sanctity. Abraham P Meachinkara, counsel for the intervenors, argued that Mohanlal chose to declare the articles only after the occurrence report was filed before the court.
Mohanlal had approached the government claiming that the first pair of tusks was obtained from a dead captive elephant owned by P N Krishnakumar and a certificate of ownership was issued to him on September 12, 1986.
How case progressed so far
June 22, 2011: I-T raid on Mohanlal’s house
December 21, 2011: Two pairs of tusks seized by forest dept
June 12, 2012: Occurrence report filed before JFMC
December 16, 2015: Govt notification allowing Mohanlal to declare possession of tusks
September 16, 2019: Seizure report filed
February 7, 2020: Govt order issuing consent to withdraw prosecution proceedings
June 9, 2022: Withdrawal petition dismissed by court