Five journalists of newly launched Malayalam news channel Mangalam have been arrested in connection with phone tapping which led to the resignation of former minister A K Saseendran.
Mangalam CEO Ajit Kumar, M B Santhosh, Firos Sali Muhammad, S V Pradeep, and K Jayachandran were arrested by the police.
Police said the arrested will be produced before court on Wednesday.
A case was filed against nine journalists, under 120 b of the IPC (criminal conspiracy) and section 67 a of the IT Act.
The high court had declined on Monday to stay the arrest of news channel staff in connection to the honey trap case.
Nine staffs of the channel, including CEO Ajit Kumar had approached the court seeking anticipatory bails claiming that police roped in conspiracy charges against them along with violation of IT Act provisions.
During the hearing of the case, the director general of prosecution opposed the pre-arrest bail pleas
stating that the accused refused ti appear before the police even after they were served notice.
The channel, on the first day of its launching, telecasted the audio clip of the former minister in which he was alleged to have involved in a lewd phone conversation. The channel earlier claimed that the minister was trying to lure a housewife who had approached him as minister.
The channel did not telecast the voice of the women who was involved in the conversation. But later, Mangalam retracted their earlier statement and said a woman journalist was the lady who talked to the minister.
The Kerala government has already instituted a judicial inquiry into the case.
Journalists across the state, particularly the women journalist, has been protesting against the channel for the manner in which they carried out the sting.
Civil society activists also accused the channel for intruding into the privacy of the minister.