KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition by Malayalam actor Mohanlal challenging the Perumbavoor Judicial First Class Magistrate Court order nixing the state's plea to withdraw the proceedings against the actor in a decade-old illegal ivory possession case.
Though the court dismissed the actor's plea for want of locus, it partially allowed the state's plea and asked the Magistrate court for fresh consideration bringing some respite to him.
However, the actor was relieved as the court asked the Magistrate to consider the state's plea afresh. This would mean that the actor still has a chance for reprieve if the Magistrate decides the state's plea in favour of the hugely popular actor.
The case relates to the alleged illegal possession of two pairs of ivory tusks which resulted in the registration of a first information report (FIR) alleging commission of offences under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Mohanlal has always claimed that the ivory tusks were obtained legally and that in 2015, at the direction of the Central government, the Kerala government had issued a certificate of ownership to him.
Following which the State government had issued a no objection certificate for withdrawing the case against him. However, in June 2022, the Magistrate court dismissed the State's application to withdraw the case, following which the actor and the Kerala government moved the High Court against the same.
During the hearings, the High Court had observed that Mohanlal may not have locus standi to challenge the order of the Magistrate Court and only the State could have challenged the order.
Later, the state approached the High Court with its revision petition contending that the order of the Magistrate was issued without considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
The court finally dismissed the actor's plea for want of locus but partially allowed the state's plea and asked the Magistrate court for fresh consideration.
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