Filmaker, Leena Manimekalai has filed a petition before the Madras High Court challenging an order by the Passport Authority impounding her passport. .Her passport is stated to have been impounded earlier this month by the authority citing a pending 2019 defamation case filed by director, Susi Ganesan, against whom Manimekalai had levelled sexual harassment allegations in 2018.As per Manimekalai, the passport authority had emailed her in February this year, issuing a show-cause notice asking her to explain why her passport should not be impounded under Sections 10 (3)(e) and 12 (1)(b) of the Passport Act, 1967 since a criminal case is pending against her before Court. .Manimekalai replied to the said email in March 2021 and no further action was taken, she submitted. However, in August, a similar email was sent again to the filmmaker, issuing a show cause notice and stating that there is an adverse police verification report against her. .Despite her reply a day later, the Passport Authority is stated to have sent an email on September 9, stating that her passport has been impounded, the petition said. .Manimekalai has submitted that the passport impoundment order comes at a time when she has been asked by York University, Toronto, Canada to be present on campus for research work, as part of the graduate program in film she has been pursuing since last year. .It is submitted that the graduate course was being conducted largely on online and remote basis due to the pandemic, until recently, around July 16, 2021..Manimekalai added that she has already informed the Magistrate hearing Ganesan's defamation case about the development, which has been recorded by the court as well..Further, the mere pendency of the defamation case cannot be a ground to impound the passport and the passport was not obtained by suppressing the criminal case, it was stated. Manimekalai, therefore, contended that the impoundment order is unwarranted and deserves to be set aside. .In this backdrop, she urged the Court to intervene and quash the order impounding her passport. .Her petition further contended that the private defamation complaint filed by Susi Ganesan against her in 2019 was only done to harass her and make her run from pillar to post to save her rights. .It was reported last year that Ganesan had earlier moved a plea under Section 104 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Power to impound document, etc., produced) before a Saidapet Court to impound Manimekalai's travel documents. The trial court, however, reportedly declined to allow this plea..In January, this year, Ganesan had also filed a plea in the Madras High Court against the trial court's order in the matter and raised allegations that Manimekalai was dragging the case. The High Court, however, found "absolutely no ground to interfere with the order" passed by the lower court. . It was further reported that Ganesan recently moved the lower court to reopen the matter.