Who Is Leena Manimekalai? Why Was her Passport Seized In A #MeToo Defamation Case

FIR Against Leena Manimekalai, The Kaali Row
Who Is Leena Manimekalai? Pendency of MeToo Defamation case against the filmmaker Leena Manimekalai resulted in the impoundment of her passport. The Madras High court has now quashed the impoundment of the passport.

Leena Manimekalai posted on Twitter “Finally my fundamental right to livelihood, to study and to travel is restored. Madras High Court Quashes Order Impounding my Passport Over Pendency Of #MeToo Criminal Defamation Case; Orders Release Within One Week.” 

The court has directed the Regional Passport Office to release the impounded passport within a week from the receipt of the court’s order. Here is what we know about the filmmaker and the MeToo Defamation case.

  1. Leena Manimekalai had come out with sexual harassment allegations and named Susi Ganesan as her alleged perpetrator under the MeToo movement.
  2. She said “He took the mobile phone that was on my lap, switched it off and threw it. He threatened me, asking me to come to his apartment. I was immobilised with shock for a while. First, I spoke softly and asked him to drop me immediately. I threatened to break the car door. What should have been a 20-minute ride to Vadapalani, witnessed a 45-minute roaming of the streets of Chennai.
  3. Director Susi Ganesan, went ahead and filed a criminal defamation case against her and citing the pendency of criminal proceedings against her, Leena Manimekalai’s passport was impounded under section 10(3)(e) of the Passports Act, 1967.
  4. Today after the order in her Twitter post, she thanked her lawyers VS Senthil Kumar, Abudu Rajarathinam, and the team for their consistent fight.
  5. She 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.
  6. She added I only plea to women not to lose courage and speak out when our dignity is in danger. Only by collective strength we can smash patriarchy. Truth always triumphs.”
  7. Justice M.Dhandapani who was the judge in this matter had orally iterated in the last hearing that he is inclined towards granting the release of the passport of Leena Manimalekai, the petitioner. He said, “This is a complete misuse of the criminal justice delivery system. Taking such heinous actions against the petitioner, it’s not right.”.  He also added that impounding Leena Manimekalai’s passport on the basis of a criminal defamation i.e. Metoo case pending against her by the alleged harasser was not legally permissible.


Suggested Reading :

Leena Manimekalai’s Maadathy Releases On OTT Streaming Platform

Major Doubts Over ‘Email’ From Chinese Tennis Star Missing After #MeToo Complaint