Attorney General makes oral submissions in case against Ven. Dhammaloka Thera

The Attorney General making his oral submissions in a case filed against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence yesterday told the Colombo High Court that there are legal provisions to charge three times the value of the elephant calf from Ven.Dhammaloka Thera as a penalty.

Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara appearing for the Attorney General made the prosecution’s oral submissions before High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne.

He said that the elephant calf has been estimated to Rs.594,500

In his oral submissions, the SSC Bandara submitted to court that no application whatsoever had been submitted to the Wildlife Department by the accused to obtain a valid licence regarding the questionable baby elephant.

Further trial was fixed for October 25. 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 licence. This is the first time in Sri Lanka that an accused had been indicted in the High Court by the Attorney General over an offence of possessing an elephant without a valid licesce, following the amendments to Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance of 2009.

The indictment has been filed over two counts 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. Wild Life 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 Ven.Dhammaloka Thera had illegally possessed a stolen property, a baby elephant without a valid licence, an offence coming under the Fauna and Flora Act. The Attorney General further alleged that the accused had also committed a punishable offence under the Public Property Act since he had intentionally kept a baby elephant without a valid licence.

The Attorney General alleged that the accused had committed this offence on or around January 28, 2015 within the Colombo High Court’s jurisdiction.

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