Tarun Tejpal gets interim bail till 10 AM on Saturday

Court grants interim relief to Tejpal; bail hearing to resume tomorrow morning.

New Delhi: Sexual assault accused Tarun Tejpal was today granted interim relief till 10 AM Saturday morning by the sessions court in Panaji.

Earlier, Tejpal was detained at the Goa airport by police. He was then taken to the sessions court in Panaji where his bail plea hearing is in progress.

In an effort to get bail, Tejpal's lawyer had alleged that political interference is taking over the matter.

His lawyer also went on to accuse the Goa police for not acting fairly in the investigation.

Summoned by Goa police, Tarun Tejpal flew to Goa by an afternoon flight to face questioning and possible arrest in the case of alleged sexual assult by him of a woman colleague.

Accompanied by his wife Geetan Batra and one of his daughters and brother, the founding editor of Tehelka magazine arrived at the airport to take a 2:30 PM flight to Panaji.

"I got summons. So I am heading to Goa," Tejpal, who put up a faint smile, told reporters in a terse reply to questions.

Before getting into the departure hall with his wife for check-in, a tensed Tejpal hugged his daughter for some moments.

Earlier in the day, he got a short respite when the Sessions court in Panaji barred his arrest till 2:30 PM when the court may give his final order on the anticipatory bail application moved by his lawyers. At the crack of dawn, a Goa police team went to his house for arresting him but returned empty-handed as he was not there.

Sessions Judge Anuja Prabhudesai gave Tejpal interim protection from arrest on a bail application moved by his lawyers. Tejpal has also been granted interim bail till 2.30 PM on a personal bond of Rs 10,000.

Victim's fresh statement: 'It is not a political conspiracy'

Tejpal's lawyers moved the court for bail after a joint team of Goa and Delhi police went to his residence in South Delhi's Jungpura to arrest him Friday morning but did not find him there.

Later they carried out searches at various other places, including that of his relatives. Tejpal's lawyer Geeta Luthra told reporters later that he has been given interim bail till 2.30 PM.

Tejpal, the founder editor of Tehelka magazine, has been accused of sexually assaulting his colleague during an event organised by the magazine in a five star hotel here earlier this month.

Read here - Tejpal violated my trust, body: Victim

"We moved for anticipatory bail since it is the right of all citizens to have liberty. Even the Supreme Court has said that liberty of a person should not be interfered with," Luthra said. She said Tejpal has already sent a letter to Goa police saying he will cooperate with them.

"It is not that we are going away. We will cooperate."

When asked where Tejpal is, she said Tejpal has to be available to the court and police and would come at an appropriate time. The lawyer said the police have only issued summons and he has to be given reasonable time to present himself before the Investigating officer.

Tehelka: Kapil, Sushma row continues

A person who does not live in the city needs time to present himself before the authority, she said and claimed that Tejpal has maintained respect for the law. He has tried to do everything by the law.

"We are saying that the person has to be heard. He will speak to the police and will cooperate with them," she said. The lawyer also accused police of 'hounding' Tejpal.

Tarun Tejpal with his sister Neena Tejpal at Delhi airport - ANI photo via Twitter

Tejpal's wife Geetan Batra refused to divulge to the police any detail of his whereabouts, police said after they raided his residence early on Tuesday.

The police action came after they rejected Tejpal's request for time till Saturday to appear before them.

Goa police had directed Tejpal to appear before it by 3 PM on Wednesday. The direction had come after the victim, who has alleged that she was sexually assaulted by him in a lift in a five-star hotel in Goa, recorded her statement under Section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate in Panaji.

The controversy also saw resignation of Shoma Chaudhury as Managing Editor of Tehelka, who is being accused of attempting to cover up the matter. Chaudhury sent her resignation on Wednesday as there was speculation that she may also be named in the FIR for certain alleged acts of omission and commission after the scandal became public.

Next: Police carry out raids to trace Tejpal; Centre awaits report from Goa

Police carry out raids to trace Tejpal

New Delhi: A Goa police team on Friday raided the South Delhi residence of Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexual assault on a woman colleague, and several other places including of his relatives here but could not trace him.

Assisted by Crime branch of Delhi police, the Goa police team descended on the residence of Tejpal at the crack of dawn in Jangpura area of South Delhi and spent over 90 minutes. Senior police officials said Tejpal's wife did not divulge Tejpal's whereabouts.

The police team had reached the journalist's residence at around 6:30 AM and spent around 90 minutes there. After returning empty-handed from Tejpal's residence, the police team raided several other places including homes of his relatives and friends.

The police team conducted raids in Noida also.

In another development, the Centre stepped in with the Home Ministry seeking report from Goa on the case.

"MHA has asked for all the information from Goa Police. Law and order is a state subject and there is no need to politicise the issue," Union Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh told media on Friday.

The Centre too stepped in and is awaiting a detailed report from the Goa government on the alleged sexual assault. "We have asked for a detailed report from the Goa government," Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh told reporters. He was replying to a question on the case.

Singh, however, refused to comment on the allegations that Tejpal was trying to evade the law instead of surrendering to the police.

The Home Ministry has also asked the state government to give details about the sequence of events which took place during a literary function organised by the weekly news magazine in the tourist hotspot and the action taken so far.

( Source : dc online/pti )
Next Story