Govt to ask centre to ban Mangalam channel, says CM

Will Saseendran be back? Honeytrap report to be out today

Into the sleaze phone chat scandal involving former Minister AK Saseendran and a private news channel, the probe report submitted by the Judicial Commission has recommended strong action against the channel and its CEO.

Addressing a press conference here, Vijayan said, "The Cabinet has approved the Justice Antony Commission report".

The channel and its CEO will be prosecuted for hatching a serious criminal conspiracy, said the chief minister who briefed reporters after the P S Antony Commission submitted its report to the government.

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Mangalam Channel, on the day of its launch in March this year, shocked Kerala by airing lewd conversations allegedly between the then transport minister Saseendran and a housewife, and the minister seeking sexual favours from the woman.

The commission's report has exonerated the minister but blamed him for not being vigilant while interacting with the journalist. Introducing a new legislation in line with Britain's Communication Act 2003, mandatory refresher courses on media morality and ethical journalism for journalists and bringing in a code of conduct for interaction between ministers and journalists are s ome o f t h e o the r recommendations.

It had also constituted a four-member committee of Secretaries headed by Chief Secretary K.M. Abraham to go into the recommendations and suggest follow up action.

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The commission observed that the channel with an intention to get prime ratings and public attention was involved in a criminal conspiracy to honey trap the minister.

The channel and the owner would face a criminal case under Sections 120 B, 201, 294, 463, 469, 470 and 471 of the IPC and Sections 67, 67 A, 84 B, and 88 of IT Act. It was also recommended that a special court headed by an additional chief judicial magistrate be set up at Ernakulam for speedy trial of cyber crimes.

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