Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexually assaulting a junior journalist, is sticking to his version that whatever happened between the two was a "consensual act", a police officer said today.
A photo of Tehelka's Tarun Tejpal (HT Photo)
"...Tejpal has been maintaining that the act was consensual though he has not denied having indulged in the act," the officer, who is part of the Crime Branch team investigating the case, said on the condition of anonymity.
The officer said the investigation is heading in the right direction and the accused is cooperating during the interrogation.
The detailed statements of Tejpal are being recorded by a team led by Investigating Officer (IO) Sunita Sawant under the supervision of deputy superintendent of police Sammy Tavares.
He has corroborated what the woman journalist has stated in her complaint, except that the act was "forced upon the girl," and has so far stuck to his version that the act was consensual, the official said.
The journalist, in an emailed complaint to former Tehelka managing director Shoma Chaudhury had said Tejpal groped and touched her private parts on two occasions in the elevator of a hotel in Goa, where the magazine had organised its THiNK festival last month.
Tejpal, who has been in police custody since Saturday night, has been spending much of his time going around pathological labs at Goa Medical College and OPD of the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB).
READ: Tejpal won't get a fan in police lock-up, says court
Tejpal will undergo third round of medical tests today.
"We hardly get time to interrogate him. The Goa Medical College has now called (him) for the third round of medical examination," an official said, adding that GMC has been conducting all the tests which are mandatory as per the procedure.
READ: Tejpal taken for second round of medical tests
Tejpal spent the entire day at GMC on December 2, followed by Wednesday.
The interrogation of the accused began on Sunday at the Crime Branch.
Meanwhile, a senior officer said the accused has confessed to writing an email to the woman journalist and also to Chaudhury.
READ: Goa Police summons Shoma Chaudhury
The investigators said they will seek extension of Tejpal's police custody when his six-day remand ends on Friday.
"The summons has been issued to Shoma and three witnesses. We have to question Tejpal based on the statement by them before the magistrate. We will ask for extension of his police custody," a senior official said.
PHOTOS: Tejpal's Tehelka creates ripples