Tamil News

Susi Ganesan Cannot Appeal Against Leena Manimekalai’s Passport Impoundment Quashing: Madras HC

The Madras High Court, on Wednesday, refused permission to filmmaker Susi Ganesan to file an appeal against the single bench’s order that quashed the impounding of filmmaker-poet Leena Manimekalai’s passport.


This is the most recent development in their ongoing legal battle following Leena’s #MeToo allegations against Ganesan. The latter filed a criminal defamation case against Leena in 2019 after she accused him of sexual harassment.

Citing this pending defamation case, Ganesan moved the Saidapet Magistrate Court last year to impound Leena’s passport, just as she was set to travel to Canada to pursue the last leg of her Master of Fine Arts course at York University. Her passport was consequently impounded in September by the Regional Passport Office and Leena challenged this in court.

In October, the Sessions and District Court of Chennai set aside the Saidapet Magistrate Court’s order to impound Leena’s passport. Ganesan then appealed to quash this order of the Sessions Court. But, in November, the Madras HC observed that Leena’s passport could not be impounded on the mere basis of a criminal defamation case being pending against her. Following this, in early December, a single-judge bench of the HC quashed the passport impoundment and directed the Regional Passport Officer to release Leena’s passport.

Ganesan then moved the Supreme Court, but the apex court refused to interfere in the order of the Madras High Court.

The director subsequently tried to file an appeal with the HC challenging its previous order. He again argued the same point, that the single judge’s order would affect his criminal defamation case, claiming that in the absence of impoundment, Leena could “easily cause delay in trial.”


However, the HC observed, on Wednesday, that the Supreme Court had already directed that the trial in the defamation case be completed within four months. The top court’s order further instructed Leena to co-operate with the trial proceedings and stated that her physical presence was not required during the hearing. The HC further noted that if the trial was not completed within the stipulated time on account of her fault, Ganesan was at liberty to file a contempt petition.

The first bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy, therefore, ruled that there was “no substance” in Ganesan’s arguments, particularly in light of the Supreme Court order.

The Madras High Court thus refused to allow Ganesan to file an appeal against the single-bench order quashing Leena’s passport impoundment.