Kerala HC: Mohanlal has No Locus Standi to Challenge Magistrate’s Order in Ivory Tusks Matter

Mohanlal Law Insider

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: August 30, 2022 at 19:51 IST

The Kerala High Court stated on Monday that Malayalam film actor Mohanlal might not have locus standi to contest the Perumbavoor Judicial First Class Magistrate Court’s decision to reject the State government’s request to drop its charges against the actor in a case involving illegal ivory possession that dates back ten years.

In this case, Mohanlal, the accused, may not have the right to contest the Magistrate’s decision to reject the State’s plea, Justice Mary Joseph stated. She said orally that only the State could have contested the order.

“There is no locus standi for the party. The Court may take into account whether the State attends and submits an application. But the party is unable to.”

“If the court rules that a party may do that, a large number of the accused will appear and submit withdrawal applications to the court,” explained the judge.

A first information report (FIR) alleging conduct of offences under the terms of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, was filed against Mohanlal in connection with the suspected illegal possession of two pairs of ivory tusks.

Mohanlal has insisted that the ivory tusks were acquired legitimately, and in 2015, the Kerala government granted him a certificate of ownership at the request of the Central government.

The State government then granted a no objection certificate, allowing the prosecution against him to be dropped.

However, the Magistrate court denied the State’s request to discontinue the case in June 2022, stating, “At this point in the proceedings, I am of the opinion that rather than assuming the validity of the ownership certificate issued to the accused no. 1 and immediately allowing the withdrawal petition, it would be in the interest of justice to consider whether the prosecution should continue or not in light of the adjudication which is yet to be made by the Hon’ble High Court regarding the validity of the ownership certificate issued to the accused no. 1.”

This caused the actor to file the current revision petition with the High Court, arguing that the Magistrate’s order was issued without taking the case’s facts and circumstances into account and without using his or her best judgement.

The Court will consider the matter next after the upcoming Onam vacation.

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