Justice Sunita Gupta declined to give any relief to Tejpal, who is facing charges of sexually assaulting a journalist colleague, and asked the police to file a reply by Wednesday.
Down with Tejpal: Women from the Matri Shakti and Durga Vahini group -- the women’s wings of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad staged a rally, demanding the arrest of Tarun Tejpal in Delhi. Pic/AFP
Goa Police opposed the bail application, saying the matter was serious in nature. The police said they have not received a copy of the bail application.
A Goa police official added that as a ‘precautionary’ measure, all immigration posts had been alerted to prevent Tejpal from leaving the country.
“He should inform us in case he is leaving the country,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police, Goa, OP Mishra. Tejpal’s junior, a woman reporter, in Tehelka is fully cooperating with us, Mishra said, adding that a formal statement was also being recorded by the Goa police team which has travelled to meet her.
Meanwhile, Tejpal’s counsel KTS Tulsi and Geeta Luthra asked the court to pass an order granting him protection from arrest till Goa police filed its reply. Tejpal alleged that the Goa government was giving him a bad time because the BJP had a ‘long standing grudge’ against him for the investigative journalism he did when the party ruled the country.
“I am asking for one day’s protection. I am not running away from the country,” Tejpal’s counsel Luthra pleaded. Tulsi added, “This has become a political battle. I am entitled to interim protection.”
Tulsi said that at best, the case related to outraging the modesty of a woman. “It is a figment of imagination that it has become a case of (rape). Even the girl has not made any statement to police,” Tulsi said.
And adding to the long list of woes, author and publisher Urbashi Buthalia said she was not a part of the committee Tehelka was planning to set up.
‘It was only light-hearted banter’
Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal said the woman journalist stayed out late into the night during the ThinkFest conference held earlier this month in Goa. Tejpal in his anticipatory bail application moved before the Delhi High court said the encounter with the woman employee was ‘light-hearted bantering’. “The colleague referred above (complainant of the case), continued to party and was completely normal and friendly all throughout stay in Goa,” Tejpal said in his bail plea. “She was at every party and social events through the conference and stayed out late into the night,” he said. Tejpal said the meeting with his employee and complainant on November 7 was only light-hearted bantering.