The Kerala government has filed an application in a local court with a prayer to withdraw the ivory possession case against actor Mohanlal as it was satisfied that the continuance of the prosecution is a "futile exercise and total wastage of the precious time" of Court.
The case dated back to December 2011 when a team of forest officials had seized two pairs of elephant tusks from Mohanlal's residence here following an income tax raid.
It was alleged that the actor did not have a certificate of possession as mandated under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
In the application for withdrawal of prosecution filed before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court III at Perumbavoor, the Assistant Public Prosecutor said the original source of the tusks could be traced either to a period before coming into force of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 or to an ownership certificate.
"Hence the original source of the tusks is from the genuine person. In such matters especially taking into consideration of the various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 the element of public interest is comparatively less," the application said.
The government said it was "satisfied that the continuance of the prosecution of this case is a futile exercise and total wastage of the precious time of this Hon'ble court." "Therefore this prosecution needs to be stopped immediately for the interest of justice," it said.
It further submitted that the larger and broader ends of public interest and justice warranted an early withdrawal from prosecution in this case with sanction from the court.