Case against Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera fixed for trial

 

The case against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid license was today fixed for trial on November 27 by Colombo High Court.

When the case came up before High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne, the first witness State Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Wasantha Senanayake was not present in court but represented by a counsel.

This is the first time in Sri Lanka an accused had been indicted in the High Court by Attorney General over an offence of possessing an elephant without valid license following the amendments to Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in 2009.   

The Attorney General (AG) had filed an indictment against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera on two counts for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid license.

The indictment has been filed over two counts that come under Section 22 (12) of the Fauna and Flora Protection (Amendment) Act, No.22 of 2009 and Section 5(3) (a) of Public Property Act. The Attorney General had named 19 persons as witnesses in the case and three documents as production items in the case.

The Wildlife Department officials had taken into custody a two and half year-old elephant calf which was found inside the Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple in Polhengoda on January 28, 2015.

The Attorney General maintained that Dhammaloka Thera had illegally possessed a stolen property, a baby elephant without a valid license, an offence that comes under the Fauna and Flora act. The Attorney General further alleged that the accused had also committed a punishable offence that comes under the Public Property Act since he had intentionally kept a baby elephant without a valid license. The Attorney General alleged that the accused had committed this offence on or around January 28, 2015 with the Colombo High Court’s jurisdiction.

Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Prasantha Lal de Alwis appeared for the accused.

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