Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Madras High Court Asks Leena Manimekalai, Susi Ganeshan To Appear In Person On November 1 In Challenge To Impounding Of Passport

Aaratrika Bhaumik
27 Oct 2021 2:51 PM GMT
Madras High Court Asks Leena Manimekalai, Susi Ganeshan To Appear In Person On November 1 In Challenge To Impounding Of Passport
x

The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed filmmaker Leena Manimekalai and film director Susi Ganesan to appear in person before the Court on November 1 around 1 pm while hearing a plea moved by Manimekalai challenging an order passed by the Regional Passport Officer, Chennai, to impound her passport.The impounding order was passed citing the pendency of a criminal defamation...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed filmmaker Leena Manimekalai and film director Susi Ganesan to appear in person before the Court on November 1 around 1 pm while hearing a plea moved by Manimekalai challenging an order passed by the Regional Passport Officer, Chennai, to impound her passport.

The impounding order was passed citing the pendency of a criminal defamation case against her. Manimekalai had come out with sexual harassment allegations against Ganesan during the 2018 #MeToo movement. Consequently, Ganesan had filed a criminal defamation case against her in 2019 before a Magistrate's Court in Chennai. On September 9 this year, the Passport Officer impounded Manimekalai's passport under section 10(3)(e) of the Passports Act, 1967 on the ground of a criminal case pending before her.

Justice R Mahadevan directed the parties to appear in person in order to examine the possibility of resolution of differences between them. However, the judge refused to issue any warrant to summon them and instead directed the concerned counsels to convey the information. 

Furthermore, the judge also enquired from the counsel appearing on behalf of the Passport Authority whether Manimekalai's passport could have been impounded only on account of a defamation case which is a 'personal dispute' between two individuals. 

Advocate Infant Dinesh appearing for Regional Passport Officer, Chennai submitted before the Court that the filmmaker's passport was impounded invoking the authority's own jurisdiction under Section 10 (3) of the Passports Act and not Section 104 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Recently a Sessions Court in Chennai had set aside the order of a Magistrate directing the Regional Passport Officer to impound the passport of Manimekalai on the ground that such impoundment of passport cannot be carried out by invoking Section 104 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). 

Advocate Dinesh further argued today that the Passport Authority had impounded Manimekalai's passport after being informed by the police authorities that criminal proceedings were pending against Manimekalai. 

The Court however expressed reservations as to whether a private dispute can be a ground to impound Manimekalai's passport. Accordingly, the judge suggested that the parties must be present in person on the next date of hearing in order to arrive at some form of an amicable settlement. 

It was also further pointed out on behalf of Manimekalai that she had been given an opportunity to pursue the Graduate Program in Film at the renowned York University, Canada on a full scholarship and thus it is vital that the order impounding her passport is quashed at the earliest. 

Furthermore, the counsel appearing for Susi Ganeshan, who is an impleading party in the matter also disputed the maintainability of Manimekalai's petition before the Court on Wednesday. 

The Court further indicated that it would dispose of Manimekalai's writ petition on the next date of hearing i.e. on November 1 after hearing the concerned parties in person. 

Case Title: Leena Manimekalai v. The Regional Passport Officer


Next Story
Share it