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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Sexual assault case political vendetta: Tarun Tejpal

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 18, 2014
First Published: 12:00 IST(18/2/2014) | Last Updated: 14:23 IST(18/2/2014)

Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexual assault by a woman journalist, has alleged that the case against him is a political vendetta, reports said on Tuesday.

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Report also said that Tejpal's bail plea has been deferred for two weeks and the next hearing will now be held on March 4.

He was on Monday charged by Goa Police with rape, sexual harassment and outraging modesty of a woman journalist in a lift of a five-star hotel in the resort town in November last year.

If proven guilty, Tejpal can be sentenced for more than seven years of imprisonment.

Investigating officer Sunita Sawant has charged Tejpal under sections 354, 354-A (sexual harassment), 341 and 342 (wrongful restrain), 376 (rape), 376(2)(f) and 376 (2)(k) (takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody).

The 2,684-page charge sheet filed before chief judicial magistrate Anuja Prabhudesai has examined 152 witnesses including the victim, staff of Tehelka magazine and the investigating officer in the case.

The charge sheet mentions that there are enough statements on record to prove that Tejpal has admitted the commission of rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of the victim.

Read: 'Victim' says 'didn't shout due to guests'

The investigating officer has noted that there are incriminating emails in this regard containing his apology, email letters to the victim regarding rape, sexual harassment, and outraging her modesty which were retrieved at his instance.

As per the complaint, the victim was reportedly sexually assaulted by Tejpal on November 7 and the offence was repeated on November 8.

Goa Police have claimed in the charge sheet that there is sufficient evidence available in the form of documents and statements on record to show that Tejpal had been evading police after commission of crime.

Tejpal, 50, was arrested on November 30 last year and has since been lodged in Sada sub jail in Vasco town, about 40 kms from Panaji.

He has spent more than two months incarcerated in police as well judicial custody.

Tejpal was booked under sections 354-A (sexual harassment, physical contact, advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures or any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature), 376 (rape), 376(2)(k) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.

He has denied all charges.

(With PTI inputs)


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