Home / India / Kerala court grants anticipatory bail to journalists in ‘fake news’ case

Kerala court grants anticipatory bail to journalists in ‘fake news’ case

Order was passed by designated court that handles cases booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act
Representational image.
Representational image.
File picture

K.M. Rakesh   |   Bangalore   |   Published 19.03.23, 04:20 AM

A court in Kerala’s Kozhikode on Saturday granted anticipatory bail to the journalists of Asianet News who had been booked in a “fake news” case over an interview with a minor girl who was allegedly wrongly portrayed as a victim of drug abuse and sexual violence.

The court ordered the bail for the channel’s executive editor, Sindhu Sooryakumar, Kozhikode-based regional editor Shajahan Kaliyath, Naufal Bin Yousaf, the reporter based in Kannur who interviewed the minor girl, and channel employee Neeli, their counsel, advocate Sunil Kumar, told The Telegraph.


The order was passed by the designated court that handles cases booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The police had booked the four journalists under penal sections and the Pocso Act for failing to report the abuse of minors.

Kumar said the court ordered that in the event of their arrest, the petitioners shall be released on bail on executing a bond of Rs 1 lakh each with two solvents, each for the like amount.

The lawyer said the court ordered them to appear before the investigating officer whenever summoned and meet other conditions such as non-interference in the probe in any manner.

The case followed a complaint by CPM lawmaker P.V. Anvar who had accused the channel and the journalists of fabricating the story and falsely portraying the minor girl as a victim. The complainant’s contention was that the channel broadcast the “fake news” to negatively portray the law-enforcement agencies.

The case had sparked a massive controversy with journalists hitting the streets across the state after the police raided the channel’s Kozhikode office on March 5, days after activists of CPM campus wing SFI barged into Asianet’s Kochi office.

Photograph complaint on MLA

Thiruvananthapuram: An Opposition legislator in Kerala on Saturday filed a complaint with the Assembly Speaker’s office accusing a ruling CPM MLA of “insulting” her through a social media post.

K.K. Rema of the UDFbacked Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), said she had also lodged a complaint with the cyber wing of the Kerala police against CPM legislator K.N. Sachin Dev for allegedly clicking her photo using a mobile phone during the recent Opposition protest outside the Speaker’s office and sharing it on social media to tarnish her image.

“He created such a social media post to defame me for political purposes,” Rema told the media.

Dev, who represents the Balussery constituency in Kozhikode, has not reacted to the allegations.

Rema is the wife of RMP leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, a CPM rebel who was hacked to death in May 2012.


Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.