TV Channel CEO, 8 Staffers Booked; Case Registered

Thiruvananthapuram: The broadcast of a phone audio clip that had triggered heated debates in social, media and political circles Kerala over the past few days, took a new turn today with the Kerala Police booking the Chief Executive Officer and eight other employees of the newly-launched Malayalam TV channel Mangalam TV that had carried out what it termed a ‘sting operation’ against former Transport Minister A K Saseendran. Saseendran had resigned immediately after the controversy erupted.

The case has been registered a day after Mangalam TV CEO Ajith Kumar admitted that one of the female journalists at the television channel had voluntarily carried out the operation, and he went on air to issue an apology for the same.

The channel in its launch bulletin on March 26 had aired an audio clip in which a male voice, said to be that of Saseendran, was heard seeking sexual favours from the woman. Initially, the channel claimed that Saseendran had sought sexual favours from a housewife when she approached him for help.

The police registered a case against the 9 channel employees under non-bailable sections, which include criminal conspiracy, misuse of IT act and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The state government had already announced a judicial probe into the matter.