Panaji: Goa police has got 6-day custody for Tehelka’s Founder-Editor Tarun Tejpal for interrogation. This comes after Tejpal was denied bail by the Goa sessions court on Saturday in relation to the alleged sexual assault case against him.
The remand copy stated that custodial interrogation of 14 days was required in the interest of the investigation. However, the court gave Goa police, Tejpal’s custody for 6 days.
Tejpal’s lawyer Geeta Luthra expressed satisfaction over the court’s decision and said, “Police asked for 14 days but the court heard our appeal and gave 6 days remand. We are satisfied.”
District and Sessions Court Judge Anuja Prabhudesai in her 25-page order on Saturday, observed that the material on record prima facie indicate involvement in committing acts which constitute offences of custodial rape and outraging the modesty of the woman.
“The statement of the victim and the documents in the form of emails etc., details of which need not be reproduced here, prima facie indicate that the applicant, who was her mentor and father figure, had not only outraged her modesty but had misused his position, betrayed her trust and violated her body,” the judge said.
Rubbishing the defence’s claims of the delay in filing the complaint, the judge said that the time lapse cannot be taken into consideration while dealing with cases of such veracity and the yardstick of unexplained delay in filing an FIR, which usually goes in favour of the accused, cannot be applied in cases involving sexual offences.
The court observed that the material on record prima facie indicated that on November 18, a week after the Think Fest event in a hotel in Goa, the victim had sent an email complaint to the Managing Editor of Tehelka complaining of sexual assault by Tejpal on November 7 and 8 in the hotel lift.
Tejpal was arrested by the Goa police on Saturday, less than an hour after a magistrate’s court rejected his anticipatory bail application.
Tehelka’s founder-editor spent the night at a police lock-up in Goa with two murder accused and an anti-social person. He was also referred for mandatory medical check-up at Goa Medical College at 12:30 midnight and was thereafter taken to Panaji police lock-up.
The lock-up is located inside the Police Headquarters in Panaji, overlooking the office of the Director General of Police (DGP). Police sources added that he remained calm after his arrest, during medical check-up and also in the lock-up.
He was accompanied by his lawyer and his family joined him outside the Police Headquarters, before he was taken to the lock-up. He was supplied with a new pair of clothes by his family, as allowed by the court.
While the police have started interrogating Tejpal, the big task ahead of them is to gather enough evidence to prove their case in a court of law.