Kochi: The Kerala forest department has given a clean chit to Mollywood actor Mohanlal in an elephant tusk smuggling case. The case was related to the seizure of four ivories from the actor's house at Thevara, Kochi in Kerala on July 22, 2012.

Mohanlal had claimed that the ivory found from his home was traditionally handed over to him. The forest department's chief principal agreed to this statement in the Kerala high court.

According to sources, the four ivories were seized by the forest department on the grounds that the actor had no authorization to keep the ivories. The four ivories were later handed back to the actor.

Also read: Kerala high court adjourns Mohanlal's elephant tusk case to July 11

There were also reports suggesting that Mohanlal bought these four ivories for Rs 65,000 from a vendor. The report also said that the police had found that Mohanlal did not have the license to keep the ivories and the actor stated that he had kept the ivories using his friend’s license.  The case was later closed as the then minister Thiruvanjur Radhakrishnan granted the actor permission to keep the ivories.

The petition seeking action against the actor was filed by AA Paulose of Ernakulam district. The petitioner said on the date when the four ivories were seized, Mohanlal did not have a certificate of possession as mandated under Section 42 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, adding, therefore, the state government order granting the actor a certificate of possession was unsustainable.

Earlier, Rashmi Gogoi, daughter of chief justice of india Ranjan Gogoi had appeared for the hearing of the case.