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Inquiry recommends Mangalam TV’s licence cancellation; CEO Ajithkumar calls report “unilateral”

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Inquiry recommends Mangalam TV’s licence cancellation; CEO Ajithkumar calls report “unilateral”

The Kerala government on Wednesday accepted Justice PS Antony commission’s report on Mangalam channel phone chat scandal. The report recommends cancelling the licence of the news channel and prosecute CEO, R Ajithkumar for violating media ethics and for involving in criminal conspiracy to honey trap former Kerala Minister, AK Saseendran. The final decision on the report will be taken by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. 

speaking to exchange4media, Ajithkumar called the commission’s recommendation “unilateral” and said, “It didn’t allow cross examination from our side. The commission didn’t examine scientifically if it was his (Saseendran’s) voice."

Mangalam channel, on the day of its launch in March 2017, had aired lewd telephonic conversations in which a man was talking inappropriately to a woman and seeking sexual favours from her. The channel claimed the man to be the then Kerala minister AK Saseendran.

The minister resigned after the allegation and the state government had set up the Justice PS Antony Commission.

“Our intention was not to keep him away from the institution, we welcome him for ministerial ship,” Ajithkumar told us in response to the Kerala chief minister Pinarayi’s statement to the media that Saseendran could now return to the Cabinet as the commission didn’t find him guilty but that “his Nationalist Congress Party has to take a decision”.

“We are confident. We did the right thing,” Ajithkumar said.

However, according to media reports, the TV channel had previously tendered an apology for airing the contents and admitted that it was a “sting operation” involving one of their women journalists and not a housewife, as it had claimed earlier.

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