The Kerala High Court on Tuesday served a notice to superstar Mohanlal on a petition filed by AA Paulose, ordered that the permission granted to him to keep elephant tusks should be cancelled.
The Chief Justice S Manikumar after hearing the petition filed by Ernakulam resident ordered the notice to be served to the superstar and posted the case for further hearing after two weeks.
Earlier, in 2011, the Income Tax Department conducted a raid at Mohanlal’s residence and seized two pairs of elephant tusks, in Thevara, Kochi. When it came to light that he was in possession of elephant tusks the Forest department took up the case.
This issue has now surfaced in the High Court, after the Forest department filed their chargesheet against the superstar in the case in September at the Perumbavoor CJM Court.
During the earlier hearing of the case in July, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) submitted an an affidavit that the investigation officer had not submitted the inquiry report before the magistrate court concerned as the possibility of successful prosecution of the case was weak due to the legalisation of the possession and ownership of the tusks.
Mohanlal too in his affidavit submitted yesterday, pointed out that this case does not have any merit as the Forest department has already issued an ownership certificate of the ivory to him.
And being a public figure, he said petitions are filed so as to make news and get publicity. The action of the Forest department to file a chargesheet, almost after seven years has been done with a mischievous intent, the actor said.
According to the rules, possession of elephant tusks by anyone is against the section 42 of the Forest and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The elephant is accoeded maximum legal protection as it comes under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act.