Young Person; Has No Other Cases Against Her: Supreme Court While Transferring All Cases Against Leena Manimekalai To Delhi HC
On Monday (10 April), the Supreme Court consolidated five FIRs filed against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai in different states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttarakhand) related to her 'smoking Kaali' poster with the initial case filed in Delhi.
A Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, also allowed her to seek relief from the Delhi High Court to dismiss the criminal cases against her.
The bench also instructed that the previous order, issued on 20 January, which shielded her from police coercion in relation to any present or future FIRs based on the 'Kaali' film poster, would remain in effect until the investigating officer files a charge sheet under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
“She is a young person and has no other cases against her except this one on the poster,”, said the CJI addressing the ASG Aishwarya Bhati. But, the court did not agree with the plea of Ms. Manimekalai’s advocate Indira Unninayyar, seeking to directly quash the FIRs.
The CJI remarked that, “It is only a hop, skip and jump to the Delhi High Court. You can go there with the plea… If we start entertaining that prayer, we will have countless pleas from all over seeking quashing of FIRs… We have also given you protection from any coercive action”.
Manimekali was initially charged in the first FIR filed through the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police special cell.
Subsequently, additional FIRs were filed against her at various Police Stations in different states including Hazratganj Police Station in Uttar Pradesh, Station Road Ratlam Police Station, Bhopal Crime Branch, and Indore Police Station in Madhya Pradesh, and Haridwar Police Station in Uttarakhand between 4 July and 8 July last year.
The Supreme Court decided to consolidate all the cases in Delhi since the first FIR was filed there.
Previously, on 20 January the Supreme Court while giving interim protection to the film maker said that, “institution of FIRs in multiple States would be a matter of serious prejudice to the petitioner”.
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