This petition has been filed even as the court is already hearing a defamation case that he slapped on Leena Manimekalai for naming him as a sexual harasser in the Me Too movement.

Collage of director Susi Ganesan and filmmaker Leena Manimekalai
news Court Thursday, November 05, 2020 - 18:07

The Saidapet Metropolitan Magistrate Court is set to hear a petition filed by Kollywood director Susi Ganesan on November 7, requesting that the travel documents of filmmaker Leena Manimekalai be impounded. This petition has been filed even as the court is already hearing a defamation case that he slapped on Leena for naming him as a sexual harasser in the ‘Me Too’ movement.

In his petition filed in September, Susi Ganesan alleges that Leena is going to migrate to Canada for film related studies and goes on to compare her to Vijay Mallya, a business tycoon who defrauded banks and fled the country. The director claimed that extradition is a very cumbersome and expensive process and that his 'petition' was to prevent the accused (Leena) from 'escaping India'.

A delay in the court process, he claims, would be a further loss of time and reputation for him.

"I have filed this petition under section 104 of Cr PC (Power to impound document, etc., produced. Any court may, if it thinks fit impound any document or thing produced before it under this Code.) praying this honourable court to impound the travel documents from the accused in the case, that are necessary to leave the country and also pray further the Honorable Court to take appropriate measures to direct the passport authorities to impound the passport of Lenna Manimekalai who is the accused," the petition stated. 

In her counter petition filed in October, however, Leena has denied these allegations and questioned the veracity of Susi Ganesan's claims. "It is true that I have secured admission in York University, Canada, because of my meritorious academic and intellectual career. I do not intend to migrate to Canada. I am a proud Indian and do not intend giving up my citizenship. It is October, 2020 and I am still here in India. It is false to say that I intend to go away permanently from India," Leena clarifies in her counter petition.

Terming the comparison to Vijay Mallya as false and imaginary, Leena says the intention of the petition itself is to harass and further victimise her. "I am not escaping and fleeing the country like Vijay Mallya. The very allegation comparing me to Vijay Mallya is libelous and defamatory. I have been open and posted about my admission in a Canadian university and my intent to study there. There is no question of my fleeing away from the legal proceedings as alleged. The petitioner has filed this vexatious petition against me in order to further victimise and harass me," she states. 

Speaking to TNM, Leena's advocate Pappa Mohan, argues that there is no provision in the law that does not allow an accused to travel when they have already intimated the concerned court.

"Leena is not trying to abscond from the country. She is going to go there to study. There is no question of impounding her passport," says the lawyer. "The petition must be quashed."

Director Susi Ganeshan, who was accused of sexual harassment by  Leena Manimekalai in October last year, filed a complaint of defamation in 2019. The complaint has been filed under section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for charges under section 500 of the IPC (punishment for defamation) at the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Saidapet. After Leena's allegation, actor Amala Paul had accused the director of being inappropriate with her during the shoot of Thiruttu Payale 2. 



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