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Tarun Tejpal arrested on charges of rape

Last updated on: November 30, 2013 23:46 IST

Tarun Tejpal arrested by Goa police

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Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal was on Saturday night arrested by Goa police for allegedly sexually assaulting a colleague during an event here earlier in November.

Tejpal's cat-and-mouse game with the police ended 90 minutes after District and Sessions Judge Anuja Prabhudesai rejected his anticipatory bail plea.

The 50-year-old Tehelka founder was formally taken into custody at the Crime Branch headquarters in Dona Paula where Tejpal, along with his family, was waiting for the delayed court order since 4.30 pm.

Tejpal's wife, daughter, brother and his friend Sanjay Roy came out of the police outpost once he was placed under arrest. He will now be taken for a mandatory medical test.

Tejpal dodged a combined team of Goa and Delhi police which had raided his residence in Delhi at the crack of dawn on Friday. He landed in Goa only after the judge gave him interim protection against the arrest order.

The whole episode came to light on November 20, with Tejpal accepting "misconduct" against the journalist and offering to recuse himself from the post and the office for six months.

Since then, he has made several flip-flops, claiming it was a consensual act and virtually questioning the integrity of the journalist who had alleged that he attempted sexual assault on her twice in a lift in a five-star hotel in Goa.

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Image: Tarun Tejpal hugs an unidentified relative at the airport on his way to Goa
Photographs: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

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Tarun Tejpal arrested by Goa police

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Judge Prabhudesai passed the order dismissing Tejpal's plea for relief after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and the defence.

The prosecution strongly opposed the bail plea, saying custodial interrogation of Tejpal was required because prima facie a case of rape has been made out against him.

The Judge allowed Tejpal to take the assistance of his lawyer briefly once a day during interrogation if he is taken into custody. He will also be allowed to have home-cooked food.

Tejpal's lawyer Geeta Luthra said they will not be challenging the session court's order right now.

The judge, who earlier in the morning reserved the order for 4.30 pm, pronounced it only around 8 pm.

Goa police have filed an FIR with charges of rape, custodial rape and outraging the modesty of a journalist of Tehelka during an event hosted by the magazine in a five-star hotel in Goa.

If convicted, Tejpal faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life sentence in jail.

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Image: Protesters shout slogans against Tarun Tejpal
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Tarun Tejpal arrested by Goa police

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Tejpal, who had dodged a Goa police team which had gone to his residence in Delhi, arrived in Panjim after the court gave him interim relief from arrest on Friday.

The hearing in the case continued overnight and the judge reserved the order for 4.30 pm. However, the judge took more time and delivered the judgment only around 8pm.

Public Prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar argued that Tejpal should be in police custody so that he can be properly interrogated.

He said Tejpal has been changing his version and is now claiming he has not been heard.

"The accused has been changing colours like a chameleon through different statements," he told the District and Sessions Judge.

Tejpal, who was present in the court today, was later heckled by a protester who hurled a black flag at him.

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Tarun Tejpal arrested by Goa police

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Lotlikar said the CCTV footage of the hotel in Goa, where the incident had occurred, gives enough hints confirming the allegation of rape.

The public prosecutor also contended that Tejpal was not available for Goa police and appeared only after getting interim relief from the court.

He alleged that Tejpal has in the past tried to influence the family of the complainant and referred to an FIR filed in Delhi in this regard.

That the accused is interfering in the investigation is well corroborated by his past conduct, he said.

The PP noted that the victim has been consistent in her statements.

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