Sex Video Scandal: Itish, Pandey, Odia News Channels Appear In Court

**Bhubaneswar: ** Being summoned in the criminal defamation suit filed by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena pertaining to the controversial sex video allegedly featuring him that went viral in the social media as well as aired by the Odia electronic media recently, NSUI Odisha unit president Itish Pradhan, proprietor Pradeep Pandey and three Odia news channels deposed before the SDJM Court here on Tuesday.

While Itish Pradhan and Pradeep Pandey appeared personally, the three Odia news channels-Zee Kalinga, Kanak News and News7- appeared through their respective lawyers.

Venting his views before media on the day, proprietor Pradeep Pandey said, “No where have we mentioned that the person featuring in the controversial video is the Mayor. Hence, why should he identify himself on his own accord? My legal counsel feels that the Mayor has taken this legal recourse just only to hinder the ongoing probe into the mysterious death of Rishi in which his role is allegedly on question.”

NSUI Odisha unit president Itish Pradhan said, “Time will reveal the truth. Whatever to be deposed I have done it today. I humbly honour the court’s directive and also continue in future. The case should be probed by CBI while the video should be examined at the Central Laboratory.”

Pradeep Pandey’s lawyer Ashok Mahapatra informed media, “Today we told the court that nowhere in the viral video we have defamed him. This was our main ground. Our second point put forth before the court was that apprehending criminal proceeding against him in the case, he (Mayor) has intentionally filed this defamation case to delay Rishi Mohanty’s murder case investigation. It’s not of Rs 1 crore defamation rather of about Rs 1 lakh and something.”

Mayor’s lawyer S. Dwivedi told media, “Today Itish Pradhan appeared and sought time for filing show cause while Pradeep Pandey appeared and filed his show cause. Out of the five news channels, two are yet to appear while News7 appeared and file objection. Kanak News and Zee Kalinga appeared and sought time for filing show cause. In this defamation suit it is for the valuation of pecuniary jurisdiction of Rs 1.10 lakh. It has been pleaded that the damage caused is not less than Rs 1 crore.”