Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department for allegedly possessing an elephant calf without a valid licence.
Earlier, Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera of Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple in Polhengoda filed a fundamental rights petition in Supreme Court seeking an order preventing the CID from arresting him over a magisterial inquiry for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence.
Through his petition, Dhammaloka Thera further sought the Supreme Court's jurisdiction directing the respondents to pay a compensation in Rs.25 million as damages.
In his petition, Dhammaloka Thera cited CID Director B.R.S.R. Nagahamulla, Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne, IGP N.K. Ilangakoon and the Attorney General as respondents.
The thera maintained that he had kept a baby elephant that had been abandoned at the temple following a pageant held in 2014.
He stated that he only nurtured the elephant calf that was abandoned at his temple.
The petitioner stated that on January 2015 immediately after the Presidential Election a team of wildlife officials and officials of the Police Department had visited his temple about possessing of an unregistered elephant.
The petitioner stated that the respondents are attempting to arrest and produce him in court under the Public Property Act No.12 of 1982.
The petitioner further sought a declaration that the action of the respondents in attempting to arrest the petitioner and produce him in court is imminent violation of Article 12(1), 12(2) and 13(2) of the Constitution.
On February 12 this year, the Attorney General has given instructions to the CID that Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera be named as a suspect and steps be taken to produce him in Court for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence.
The Attorney General observed that there is sufficient evidence to initiate criminal proceedings against Ven. Dhammaloka Thera under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.