The Kerala High Court has temporarily halted the trial proceedings in the ivory possession case involving actor Mohanlal. This six-month stay comes after the Perumbavoor Magistrate Court initially set the trial for November, rejecting the government’s request to withdraw the case due to public interest concerns.
In 2011, the Revenue Department seized four ivory tusks from Mohanlal’s Ernakulam residence. Initially, the Forest Department supported the actor, but in 2012, it filed a case against him. However, this action was later withdrawn as it fell outside the Wildlife Protection Act’s purview. During the UDF Government’s tenure, the ivory tusks were returned to Mohanlal, with permission from the Chief Forest Conservator to possess them.
The legal matter resurfaced when PP Poulose of Ernakulam filed a complaint challenging the decision. The court subsequently summoned the actor for further proceedings, with the Forest Department claiming the ivory came from a captive elephant owned by an accused party. Following the elephant’s death, the ivory was given to Mohanlal. Consequently, the department filed a chargesheet, naming the actor as the first accused.
Last year, Mohanlal filed an affidavit with the Kerala High Court, contesting the Forest Department’s chargesheet. He argued that he had obtained retrospective permission for ivory possession, rendering the chargesheet invalid. He also claimed the incident was used to tarnish his public image.