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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Kerala star Mohanlal chargesheeted seven years later for ivory possession

Popular actor Mohanlal has been chargesheeted seven years after ivory tusks were recovered from his house during an income tax inspection.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2019 23:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Mohanlal claimed to have bought the ivory one K Krishnakumar for Rs 65,000 in 2010
Mohanlal claimed to have bought the ivory one K Krishnakumar for Rs 65,000 in 2010 (A still from Drishyam)
         

The Kerala Forest Department on Friday filed a chargesheet against popular actor Mohanlal for alleged possession of four elephant tusks after it was pulled up in April by the Kerala High Court for delaying the chargesheet by seven years after the case was registered.

Officials had seized four tusks from the actor’s residence in Thevara in Ernakulam district during an income tax inspection in 2012. The special licence for keeping the tusks was in the name of two others and not Mohanlal. The actor claimed to have bought the tusks from one K Krishnakumar for Rs 65,000 in 2010. The possession and transfer of ivory were punishable under the Wlidlife Protection Act.

Though the state forest department filed a case, it was withdrawn later. The state government also allowed the actor to keep the ivory after modifying the existing law. An activist later challenged the forest chief conservator’s order granting ownership of the ivory to Mohanlal in the Kerala High Court. The HC, while hearing the plea, observed that the actor could be charged with Section 39 (3) of the Wildlife Protection Act and pulled up the forest department for delaying the chargesheet.

The actor was not available for his comments. Mohanlal was inducted into Territorial Army as the Honorary Lt Colonel in 2009 and was awarded Padmabhushan in 2018. A veteran of 300-odd films, he was widely tipped to join politics last year, but rejected the idea saying it was not his cup of tea.