Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the Regional Passport Officer and police to permit choreographer M.Sridhar to travel to Malaysia from September 24 to September 29, 2019, for the purpose of attending the Natchathira Kalai Vizha at Kula Lampur, Malaysia organized by the M/s Chinnathirai Nadigar Sangam.
Disposing of a petition filed by Sridhar, Justice M.S.Ramesh said the petitioner shall file an affidavit duly before the Regional Passport Officer undertaking to return to India and on furnishing of such affidavit, the RPO and the police shall not restrain the petitioner in any manner from traveling to Malaysia, by citing the pendency of the criminal case (registered based on a complaint from actress Amala Paul, alleging sexual harassment by a person while she was rehearsing for a dance sequence at a popular studio that belongs to Sridhar in T.Nagar).
Petitioner's counsel R.Subburaj submitted that on January 31, 2018, actress Amala Paul lodged a complaint with the T.Nagar police against one Azhageswaran. According to the complaint the place of occurrence was the academy of the petitioner. One Chitra Ramu, event organizer took his dance academy for practice and she was rehearsing at his academy on January 31. His name was not stated in the complaint. The petitioner was in no way connected with the said crime and he was not involved in the same. However, the police has falsely implicated the petitioner as one of the accused in the charge sheet.
Aggrieved, he approached this court, which stayed the criminal proceedings. Prior to his application for renewal of passport, the case was stayed. Therefore, the petitioner did not mention the same in his application. While so, on receipt of a show cause notice, he appeared before the RPO and explained about the high court order.
However, the RPO informed that due to pendency of the enquiry, the authorities will not permit him to travel abroad. Hence, the petitioner has filed the present petition, Subburaj added.
Advocate John Sathyan, appearing for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner has no intention to abscond and he was willing to co-operate with the criminal proceedings which were pending before this court, subject to the final decision taken in the quash petition.
The judge said, “In my view, this court has formed a prima facie opinion on the validity of the charge sheet by granting interim orders. Owing to the stay granted, restraining the petitioner from traveling abroad may not be proper”.
The judge said B.Rabu Manohar, the Senior Central Government Standing Counsel submitted that there was a duty cast on the part of the petitioner to disclose about the pendency of the criminal proceedings before the RPO and in the absence of the same, show cause notice has been properly issued.
“I do not find any infirmity in such submission. Nevertheless, taking into account of the fact that the criminal case itself has been stayed, this court is of the view that the petitioner could be permitted to travel to Malaysia between September 24 to 29 for the purpose of attending the function”, the judge added....