The Madras High Court on Friday refused to discharge Twitter from the defamation case filed by film director Susi Ganesan against poet and filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, various film personalities and other social media organisations.

Justice P Velmurugan refused to discharge Twitter by dismissing an application filed by Twitter.

Originally, Susi Ganesan had moved the IX Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Saidapet with a defamation petition to punish Manimekalai and playback singer Chinmayi for their 'MeToo' allegations against him in 2019. He had claimed that their accusations were baseless and aimed at tarnishing his name and reputation in the film industry.

Newsminute, an online news media company, Facebook, Google, Twitter and various such organisations were the other accused in the case. They had allegedly published/carried the defamatory statements.

He had also moved the Supreme Court, which in December last year, directed the Saidapet Magistrate court to complete the trial within four months.

Meanwhile, he had moved the High Court with an application seeking to restrain the defendants (Manimekalai and others) from making any such allegation against him. He had also demanded a compensation of Rs 1.10 crore to be paid collectively by the defendants.

Justice Abdul Quddhose on January 20 had restrained the defendants from making/publishing defamatory statements against Ganeshan.

The Principal Sessions Judge here on March 4 had rejected a plea from Manimekalai to transfer the defamation case from the Saidapet Magistrate court to some other court, on the ground that the magistrate was biased towards her.

When the matter came up today in the High Court, the counsel for Twitter told Justice Velmurugan that his client was only a social media organisation engaged in disseminating information and it should not be held responsible for the same, which was rejected. After directing the defendants to file their written arguments, the judge adjourned the matter till April 13.

With PTI inputs