Thiruvananthapuram: The chief judicial magistrate court here on Saturday acquitted former Kerala transport minister AK Saseendran in the Mangalam TV honey trap case that led to his resignation from the Cabinet.
With the chief judicial magistrate's court in Thiruvananthapuram acquitting him, the way has been cleared for Saseendran's re-induction into the CPI(M)-led government headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
A woman journalist of the channel had filed a petition before the chief judicial magistrate court after Mangalam TV telecast the sleaze talk. She alleged that Saseendran made sexual advances towards her when she called him for official purpose.
However, she later submitted a petition stating that she had filed the case on the basis of a misunderstanding and that the matter had been resolved out of court.
Saseendran, had in March last year, resigned from the Pinarayi Vijayan ministry hours after the channel aired an audio clip allegedly involving his lewd talk with a woman.
The minister announced his decision to step down at a press conference, but denied the charge that he talked inappropriately with a woman over phone and claimed he resigned on moral grounds.
The Kerala High Court in April last year denied bail to the CEO of Mangalam TV channel and its senior reporter, arrested for allegedly airing the purported sleaze talks of AK Saseendran, making him quit the Cabinet.
The court, however, granted bail to three other accused, including a news reader in the case.
The FIR filed against the staffers concerned had said they had entered into a 'criminal conspiracy' to malign Saseendran.
The accused had aired an audio tape of sleaze talks on the channel and published it on its Facebook page as well, said the FIR.
The channel later tendered an apology for airing the contents and admitted it was a "sting operation" involving one of its women journalists and not a housewife, as it had claimed earlier....