Faced with imminent arrest for the alleged sexual assault of a junior colleague in Goa, Tehelka co-founder Tarun Tejpal on Monday moved the Delhi high court seeking anticipatory bail in order to enable him to approach the appropriate court for remedy in accordance with law.
His plea was mentioned by senior advocate Geeta Luthra and advocate Pramod Dubey before Justice GS Sistani. The plea is likely to come up for hearing before Justice Sunita Gupta on Tuesday.
In his petition, filed through law firm Karanjawala and Co., Tejpal contended that the police could not start a probe without a formal complaint from the young woman in question. He alleged that the registration of an FIR and the pursuant investigation by the Goa police was a result of the BJP’s political vendetta to satisfy a “long standing grudge” against him for the investigative journalism done by Tehelka against the BJP. Goa is ruled by the BJP.
In 2001, Tejpal was behind a sting operation on leaders of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre that exposed corruption in defence deals. It resulted in the resignations of the then BJP president Bangaru Laxman and defence minister George Fernandes.
The 50-year-old journalist claimed that the FIR in which he has been booked for rape was registered in “pursuance of a well-planned criminal conspiracy to falsely prosecute” him.
The investigation “is being used as an opportunity to satisfy the long standing grudge of the political executive against the crusade, work and ideological stand of the present petitioner,” the petition said.