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Petitioners argue against withdrawal of case against Mohanlal- Mrit News

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Prosecution shall be withdrawn only in the interest of public justice, they say 

Prosecution shall be withdrawn only in the interest of public justice, they say 

The prosecution proceedings initiated against actor Mohanlal in the illegal possession of elephant tusk case shall not be withdrawn, as it will not serve any public justice, contended two public interest litigants.

Opposing the prosecution move to withdraw prosecution, the petitioners, A.A. Poulose and James Mathew, argued that the Supreme Court had pointed out that the proceedings shall be withdrawn only in cases of communal feuds and labour disputes, which might have been amicably settled, so that some pending proceedings shall not re-ignite trouble. The apex court had also held that prosecution withdrawal shall be considered only in the interest of public justice, argued Abraham Meachinkara, counsel for the petitioners.

The court, while considering the petition, should make an effort to elicit the reasons for withdrawal and satisfy itself that the Public Prosecutor too was satisfied that he should withdraw from the prosecution for good and relevant reasons. The courts shall not grant permission for withdrawal as a necessary formality, he argued.

The continuation of prosecution to its logical end is the rule and withdrawal of a case an exception, which shall be resorted to only sparingly. If withdrawal is allowed in a routine manner, the confidence of the public in the judicial system will be lost, he argued.

M. Vinod, Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP), had earlier argued that the petition was moved by applying his mind as mandated by law. He had also argued that the actor was issued ownership certificates for the tusks, which had retrospective effect to the original date of their possession. Those who have such certificates also enjoy immunity from being proceeded against under the Wildlife protection Act, he argued.

The court asked the APP to produce copies of documents, including government orders and notifications, which he had relied upon, to press for the withdrawal of prosecution.

The court has posted the case for June 3.

The Forest department had booked the case against the actor after the possession of ivory came to light following an Income Tax department raid at his Kochi residence a few years ago.

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