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Madras High Court Directs Release Of Leena Manimekalai's Passport In A Week

The criminal defamation case against the filmmaker was filed by the director Susi Ganeshan.

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The filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has been fighting a criminal defamation case since 2019 under which the passport authorities had seized the filmmaker's passport. Recently she got an opportunity to pursue a course in a prestigious institute in Canada. Her lawyers had filed a writ petition for its release. The Madras High Court on November 3 directed the authorities to release her passport at a week's notice.
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The order was passed by Justice M Dhandapani on the petition filed by the filmmaker Leena Manimekalai. Calling it a "complete misuse of the criminal justice delivery system," the Justice directed the Regional Passport Office to release her passport.

The criminal defamation case against the filmmaker was filed by the director Susi Ganeshan. Leena had alleged him of sexual harassment in 2018'sĀ  #MeToo movement. In 2019, the director filed a defamation case against her in the Chennai Magistrate Court.

Using the defamation case as a ground, the authorities seized Leena's passport on September 9 under section 10 (3) (e) of the Passports Act, 1967. However, on October 20, Chennai Sessions Court set aside the order of September 9 and informed the Madras High Court on October 22.

Leena Manimekalai Passport Release:

Today, the order to release her passport was given out. The filmmaker, who is also a poet and an artist posted on Twitter, thanking her lawyers and people who supported her, while announcing that the Madras High Court has quashed the order and it is going to be released in one week.

Leena also thanked York University, School of the Arts, Media, Performances and Design, and her professors for supporting her. "Finally my fundamental right to livelihood, to study and to travel is restored," read the tweet.

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While thanking her lawyers, Leena also thanked her mother and brother for having her back. "...when all women do not have that kind of support system in families when it comes to voicing out sexual harassment."

She pleads women to not lose courage and "speak out when our dignity is in danger." "Truth always triumphs," she concluded.

(Feature Image Credit: The News Minute)


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