Chennai: The Madras High Court today directed police to provide personal security cover to film director Mani Ratnam at his cost.
Mani Ratnam in his petition had sought police protection, submitting that a few days after his film `Kadal` was released, a few unidentified persons claiming to be alleged distributors were spreading falsehood about its quality.
Disappointed over the alleged low turnover of the film, more than 25 unidentified persons, claiming to be distributors trespassed into his office on February 9 and 22 and created a fear psychosis on the staff present there.
Additional Government Pleader had already submitted that two police officials had been posted at Ratnam`s office and two more would be posted at his residence.
When the matter came up today, Advocate General submitted that special request by the petitioner to have personal security for himself and his family members may not be permitted at this juncture as the respondent department have to assess the threat perception of the individual.
Rejecting AG`s submission, Justice S Rajeswaran said, "I am unable to accept the contention of the Advocate General that pursuant to assessment of threat perception of the individual person, police protection would be provided to both the petitioner`s residence and office."
"The petitioner is a bigwig with a social status in the society and hence he has come to the court seeking police protection to his life and liberty and that of his family members," the court said and directed that one personal security be provided to the film-maker to safeguard him and his family.
Earlier, V Prakash, senior counsel appearing for the film-maker submitted that on the deployment of personal security to Mani Ratnam`s residence and office, the cost may be borne by him.
The judge added that this arrangement would continue until further orders and posted the matter for April 10 to review the situation.