Mohanlal | Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives
Perumbavoor: The Kerala High Court on Monday stayed trial proceedings in the ivory possession case against actor Mohanlal for six months. Earlier, the Perumbavoor Magistrate Court had asked the actor to appear in person for trial in November. However, all further proceedings have been stayed by the court now.
The Magistrate Court had then dismissed the government's plea to withdraw the case citing as against public interest. The incident pertaining to the case took place in 2011. The Revenue Department seized four ivory tusks from the actor's home in Ernakulam. The Forest Department initially took a favourable stand with the actor but in 2012, it registered a case.
The case was later withdrawn after it was found that the incident did not fall under the purview of the Wildlife Protection Act. The ivory tusks were returned to Mohanlal during the tenure of the UDF Government. The actor also received permission from the Chief forest conservator to keep the ivory tusks.
However, challenging this decision, PP Poulose, an Ernakulam native, filed a complaint. Based on this, the court summoned the actor. The Forest Department maintained that the ivory came from a captive elephant that belonged to one of the accused. After the elephant died, the ivory was retrieved and given to the actor. However, the court directed the department to submit the chargesheet. Following this, the Forest Department named the actor as the first accused.
Last year, Mohanlal filed an affidavit in the Kerala High Court against the chargesheet filed by the Forest Department. In the affidavit, the actor claimed that he had permission to keep ivory in his possession with retrospective effect, and in this situation, the chargesheet filed against him by the Forest Department would not stand. The actor further claimed that this incident has been used to smear his public image.