Tamil News

#MeToo: Authorities Delay Filing Counter Affidavit in Leena Manimekalai Passport Impoundment Case

Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, who moved the Madras High Court to quash her passport impoundment order, has to wait longer as the passport authorities who were supposed to file a counter affidavit on Thursday, failed to do so, Leena’s advocate Abudu Kumar Rajarathinam told Silverscreen India.


Leena’s passport impoundment is the latest development in her ongoing legal battle against filmmaker Susi Ganesan after she named him as her harasser in the #MeToo movement.

Besides slapping a defamation case on Leena, Ganesan had also filed a petition to impound her passport. While his first such petition was not entertained by the Saidapet Magistrate Court, Ganesan moved the court yet again. Following this, in early September, Leena was notified that her passport was impounded by the Passport Authority, citing the defamation case pending against her.

However, Leena, who was set to leave for Canada to pursue the last leg of her filmmaking course at York University, filed a writ petition seeking to quash her passport impoundment.

Subsequently, on September 23, the HC had issued a notice to the Regional Passport Office in Chennai. Justice R Mahadevan ordered the passport authorities to file a counter affidavit within two weeks detailing the grounds on which Leena’s passport was impounded.

However, on Thursday, when the case came up for hearing again, the files and the counter-affidavit were not submitted by the passport authorities as ordered Abudu Kumar told Silverscreen India. The case has therefore been adjourned to October 22.


Meanwhile, it is to be noted that Leena is fighting three different cases in her ongoing legal battle against Ganesan. The first of these is the main defamation case filed by Susi Ganesan at the Saidapet Magistrate Court, the second at the Sessions Court challenges what she terms the Magistrate’s “biased orders” in that case, and the third is the one at High Court against her passport impoundment.

On Wednesday, when the case at the Sessions Court came up for hearing, the judge reserved his judgment on the stay on the Magistrate’s order for October 20.