Sexual assault: Tarun Tejpal moves Delhi High Court

Court to hear the petition tomorrow; Goa police hints at slamming fresh charges on Tejpal.

New Delhi: Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal on Monday moved the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail in a sexual assault case lodged against him in Goa.

Justice G S Sistani, before whom the petition was mentioned by senior advocates K T S Tulsi and Geeta Luthra, will hear the matter on Tuesday. Tejpal, in his petition, filed through advocate Sandeep Kapur, has also sought transit bail to approach the appropriate court in Goa.

Meanwhile, the Goa police is all set to build a foolproof case against the Tehelka cofounder before it proceeds further in the case of rape and sexual assault against him. It is also considering the possibility of slapping fresh charges, saying “many things” had emerged in the probe.

Also read - Goa CM slams Tejpal's claim of 'consensual act'

Top Delhi police sources said the victim’s complaint regarding attempts being made to “pressure” and “intimidate” her family was being examined at the highest level, and that the Goa police, that is investigating the case, may add sections relating criminal intimidation in its FIR and take the victim’s version on it as well.

The Goa police plans to record the victim’s statement soon and is keen to get an official complaint from her at the earliest.

Tarun Tejpal is, meanwhile, learnt to be contemplating moving a court soon to seek a transfer of the case to an “independent” agency. Tejpal is understood to have questioned the victim’s claims and has alleged that he is being “framed”.

The Mumbai-based woman journalist victim had issued a statement Saturday night saying that she and her family were being subjected to “pressure and intimidation” at an “intensely traumatic” time in order to “protect” Tejpal.

Sources said the help of the Uttar Pradesh police has been sought as her family lives outside Delhi, in the national capital region. The National Commission for Women has already asked the Mumbai police to provide security to the victim.

“The Goa police has contacted the victim and requested her to record her statement. They have also asked her to file an official complaint,” a source said.

If she does file a formal complaint with the police, Tejpal could be arrested immediately, the source said. But till such time, the Goa police is trying to gather enough evidence before initiating any action against Tejpal.

Next: Cops seize hard disk, email transcripts

Cops seize hard disk, email transcripts

New Delhi: On Sunday evening, the Goa crime branch team led by DSP Sammy Tavares left New Delhi after questioning Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury and three magazine staffers who had been contacted by the victim immediately after the incident to corroborate her version.

Chaudhury claimed she was questioned for around nine hours from 4.45 pm on Saturday till around 2 am at the magazine’s office in South Delhi. The Goa police questioned Chaudhury for details like when the issue first came to her knowledge, and the sequence of events after that, sources said.

Chaudhury has been facing flak over the way she has handled the victim’s complaint of sexual assault.

The police also seized from the Tehelka office a hard disk, transcripts of emails exchanged between Tejpal, Chaudhury and the victim, as well as some other documents.

The three-member team will brief senior officers in Panaji soon after returning, and proceed with adding the additional charges as per the law, the sources said.

At a press conference at the Panaji police headquarters, DIG O.P. Mishra said the police team had not got in touch with Tejpal at this stage. “I will not share any minute details that will hamper investigations. But we are proceeding in the right direction,” he said.

“There are many things which emerged during the course of the investigations... If additional charges are required, they will be added.”

Chaudhury, after recording her statement, said on Sunday she had “fully cooperated with the Goa police”, and that it was a “good experience”.

She said: “Yesterday, at the Tehelka office, the Goa police took my deposition for about nine hours. It was an extremely courteous experience, and I fully cooperated and showed every document that was relevant, every email exchange that was there between my colleagues, the management, it was shared, it was a good experience and I hope it helps bring clarity and justice to the entire case.”

The Goa police also said on Sunday that many things relating to the case was coming out in the media, and it should realise the need for sensitivity, and “avoid doing anything which hurts the dignity of the victim”.

A senior police official warned there were “criminal implications” of such reporting. “We have taken cognisance of this and we will not hesitate to take legal action,” he added.

An FIR was filed against Tejpal by the Goa police on Friday booking him on rape and other charges, after which its team flew to New Delhi on Saturday morning to begin investigations into the case.

Next: NCW seeks cover for victim scribe

NCW seeks cover for victim scribe

Mumbai: The National Commission for Women has approached Mumbai police seeking protection for the Tehelka journalist who has accused its editor Tarun Tejpal of sexual assault and claimed that her family was being pressurised to protect him.

The request for protection was made after the victim made a statement suggesting she and her family were being intimidated and pressurised to “protect” Tejpal.

According to a senior crime branch official here, a member of the NCW approached Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy on Sunday night and requested him to provide protection to the victim.

“We have assured that if the victim expresses any apprehension, we are ready to provide adequate protection,” official said.

NCW member Nirmla Samant Prabhavalkar said, that the commission had provided numbers of all the police officials to the victim whom she can contact and meet.

She also said that the victim should put her case firmly to the fore as the accused and his people are trying to suggest the entire incident was “consensual”.

( Source : dc/pti )
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