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Ven. Dhammaloka acquitted in elephant calf case

2 March 2019 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shehan Chamika Silva  

The Colombo High Court yesterday acquitted the Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera in the case filed against him on charges of possessing an elephant calf without a valid permit.  

HC Judge Sampath Wijeratne observed that the prosecution had not proved the allegations beyond reasonable doubt.  
He cited a precedent and said despite there being no doubt that an elephant comes under the Public Property Act, the legal question as to whether the Thera had kept that elephant without a license has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt with sufficient evidence.  


Charges were filed against the Thera under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance Act and the Public Property Act.  
The Attorney General had earlier claimed that the accused had intentionally kept in his possession an elephant calf without a legal permit at the Allen Mathiniyaramaya Temple on January 28, 2015.  


Meanwhile, Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara, appearing for the prosecution, said they would file an appeal against the court ruling.  


The Court directed that the elephant calf be kept in the custody of the Director General of Wildlife. 


Blurb -- Despite there being no doubt that an elephant comes under the Public  Property Act, the legal question as to whether the Thera had kept that  elephant without a license has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt with  sufficient evidence

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