Nine Mangalam TV journalists including CEO Ajith Kumar appeared before the Crime Branch in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, a day after the Kerala High Court had postponed their anticipatory bail plea hearing. They appeared before the investigation team as the High Court had on Monday refused to stay the arrest of the nine journalists before Thursday.
Mangalam TV officials approached the High Court after a case was registered against them on Friday for airing an explicit audio clip featuring then Transport Minister AK Saseendran.
The journalists were booked under Section 67a of the IT Act (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form) and section 120b of IPC (criminal conspiracy).
Sajan Varghese, Chairman of Mangalam TV is the first accused in the case, CEO Ajith Kumar is the second accused. Other accused in the case are Coordinating Editor MB Santhosh, Rishi K Manoj, K Jayachandran alias S Narayanan, who lead the sting operation team and News Editors Lakshmi Mohan, Firoz Sali Mohammed and S V Pradeep and the woman who allegedly spoke with the then Minsiter.
While opposing the bail pleas on behalf of the Kerala government, Director General of Prosecution M Sreedharan Nair said the accused had failed to present themselves before the probe team, which had waited for them for two days.