CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered to serve notice to film director Susi Ganesan on a petition filed by independent filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, who accused him of harassing her sexually during the MeToo movement.
Justice G Chandrasekharan issued the direction while hearing Manimekalai’s plea, seeking for a direction to transfer the criminal defamation case that Susi Ganesan filed to some other magistrate.
The case is now pending before the Saidapet Magistrate Court. According to her counsel, she is not satisfied with the case’s progress ‘as the magistrate is not hearing it properly’.
“The magistrate has not allowed us to cross-examine four witnesses in the case. As per the law, the witnesses should be cross-examined by making them depose before the magistrate. However, the magistrate received witness statements by directing them to file them as affidavits,” Manimekalai’s counsel argued.
She further submitted that the trial, which has been going beyond the provisions of the law, should not be allowed and the matter should be listed before some other magistrate.
Recording the submissions, the judge issued notice to the respondents, the Magistrate Court and Susi Ganesan.
The court also called the records of the magistrate who is hearing the defamation case, and posted the matter to April 27 for further hearing.
During the MeToo movement when many women who were sexually harassed began openly naming the men, Manimekalai had named Ganesan for making sexual advances, which led to the defamation suit.