Colombo High Court has decided to hear the case filed by the Attorney General against Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera for keeping an elephant calf in his temple knowing it had been stolen on 12th July, 2017.
The two and half year-old elephant calf 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 comes under the Fauna and Flora Act. It is further alleged that the Thera had also committed a punishable offence under the Public Property Act since he had intentionally kept the baby elephant without a valid license.
Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera had said the elephant calf was found in the temple left by someone like people leave dogs and cats in temples.
The case was re-fixed for trial by High Court Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne The AG had filed an indictment against Dhammaloka Thera on two counts under section 22 (12) of the Fauna and Flora Protection (Amendment) Act, No.22 of 2009 and section 5(3) (a) of the Public Property Act.19 persons have been named as witnesses in the case and three documents will be presented as production items in the case.