A day after the High Court criticised Mangalam News CEO and eight others for failing to appear before the Crime Branch, the television channel head and seven suspects in the honey trap scandal case, presented themselves before the investigators on Tuesday morning.

 

The court had postponed the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea of the Channel CEO and others in the case to Thursday. It had also rejected a request seeking an embargo on their arrest till a verdict on anticipatory bail petition. The police had on Saturday served a notice to the people listed in the FIR to appear before the investigators. When they failed to appear before the SIT, another notice was served on Tuesday.

 

AK Saseendran

The Crime Branch officials are questioning the channel employees in Thiruvananthapuram. Meanwhile, the Ajith Kumar has filed a complaint with the Museum Police on Monday night saying that his laptop and mobile phone were stolen.
 

Related: Sleaze talk: Television channel admits minister was set-up in a honey-trap
 

A police team had inspected the Mangalam News channel office on Monday evening and questioned some of the employees. The inspection was conducted to seize the original tape of the phone conversation in which former Minister AK Saseendran was allegedly involved in a sleaze talk with a woman over phone. The police formed a special team under Crime Branch to probe the scandal and the alleged honey trapping by the channel which was officially launched two weeks back. Saseendran resigned as the Transport Minister within hours after the audio clip was aired.
 

Related: Complaints pour in as police mull case against 'honey-trap journalism'


The Crime Branch team had filed an FIR against the CEO and others for conspiring to conduct the sting operation and for violating broadcasting norms. The police had demanded the channel officials to produce the equipment to conduct the sting operation, including the mobile phones and editing devices. Though the SIT identified the key suspect who trapped the former minister, she is reportedly absconding.


Ajith Kumar had extended an apology on the other day admitting that it was a sting operation using a woman journalist. The channel had earlier claimed that AK Saseendran engaged in a lewd phone talk with a woman who approached the former minister seeking help. The channel had come under criticism from various corners for resorting to honey-trap journalism.

Related: Sex talk scandal: Judicial commission to probe conspiracy angle

The state government has also constituted a judicial probe into the sleaze talk scandal that claimed the ministry berth of the senior NCP leader.