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Sexual assault case: Tarun Tejpal fails to get relief from court on bail plea

Panaji: Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal, facing charges of rape of a junior journalist colleague, today failed to get any immediate relief on his bail petition from court which deferred hearing to March 4.


Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal. File pic

Judge Mridula Bhatkar of the Goa bench of Bombay High Court posted the matter to March 4 and asked the prosecution to table the copy of the charge sheet filed against Tejpal by crime branch before chief judicial magistrate yesterday.

The court also allowed Tejpal to move bail petition before the sessions court as the charge sheet has already been filed. Tejpal, 50, has been charged with rape, sexual harassment and outraging modesty of the woman journalist in Goa in November last year.

He is currently lodged at Sada sub jail near Vasco town, about 40 kms from here.

The accused was personally present in the court during the hearing today and has been allowed to remain present on March 4 when the case would be heard again. Emerging from the court, Tejpal told reporters, "the charge sheet is political vendetta.
I have done nothing wrong."

The crime branch of Goa police has charged Tejpal with rape, sexual harassment and outraging modesty of the journalist in a lift of a five-star hotel where they had gone to drop back Hollywood star Robert de Niro, who had arrived to participate in the event.

Police have said that Tejpal has admitted committing the crime. The investigating officer has also charged Tejpal of evading arrest after the offence was registered against him in Goa.

Goa police yesterday filed a 2,846-page charge sheet against Tejpal, in jail since December 1, under sections 354, 354-A (sexual harassment), 341 and 342 (wrongful restraint), 376 (rape), 376(2)(f) and 376 (2)(k) (taking advantage of official position and raping a woman in custody).

The charge sheet, filed in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Anuja Prabhudesai, relied on emails and text messages between the victim and Tejpal, the statements of witnesses, besides CCTV footages of the 5 star hotel lobby outside the lift where the alleged incident happened.

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