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Kerala ex-minister’s ‘sleaze talk’ row: Probe report in, judicial panel finding likely against channel

Retired district judge P S Antony, who headed the commission, handed over the report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: November 22, 2017 1:08:27 am
Pinarayi Vijayan, sleaze row, former kerala minister a k saseendran, a k saseendran sleaze row, judicial commission report Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

THE JUDICIAL commission looking into the telephone sex conversation former transport minister and NCP leader A K Saseendran allegedly had had with a TV journalist submitted its report to the government on Tuesday.

Retired district judge P S Antony, who headed the commission, handed over the report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Saseendran was forced to quit in March this year after Mangalam TV telecast his “sleaze talk” with a woman journalist of the channel.

Although the government has not officially revealed the commission’s findings, sources said the panel has recommended that licence of Mangalam TV be cancelled and its top officials be prosecuted for trapping Saseendran in sleaze talk. It is also learnt to have recommended that the cost of the commission should be levied from the channel.

The probe reportedly found that Mangalam TV trapped Saseendran using a woman scribe with commercial interest in mind on the launch day.

The commission’s finding is crucial for NCP and Saseendran, who has been raring to return to the Cabinet since the exit of Thomas Chandy last week.

The commission noted that the channel had refused to cooperate with the probe and did not hand over original audio of the alleged sleaze talk. The journalist also refused to turn up before the panel to give evidence against the former minister — she has moved High Court since to withdraw her complaint against Saseendran.

Mangalam TV initially claimed that its investigation had caught Saseendran misbehaving with a woman, who had approached him with a complaint. The channel later admitted that it had deputed a journalist to trap him.

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