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Tehelka case: Tarun Tejpal insists 'act was consensual'

December 05, 2013 12:35 IST

Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexual assaulting a woman journalist, is sticking to his version that whatever happened between the two was a "consensual act", a police officer said on Thursday.

"The investigation is heading in the right direction and we are interrogating Tejpal in detail...He is cooperating," a senior official, who is part of the the crime branch team investigating the case, said.

The detailed statements of Tejpal are being recorded by a team led by Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant under the supervision of Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares.

"...Tejpal has been maintaining that the act was consensual though he has not denied having indulged in the act," the officer said on the condition of anonymity.

He has corroborated what the woman journalist has stated in her complaint and has so far stuck to his version that the act was consensual, the official said.

Tejpal, who has been in police custody since Saturday, has been spending much of his time going around pathological labs at the Goa Medical College and OPD of the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour. Tejpal will undergo third round of medical tests on Thursday.

"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.

Tejpal spent the entire day at GMC on December 2, followed by Wednesday.

The interrogation of the accused began on Sunday at the crime nranch.

Meanwhile, a senior officer said the accused has confessed to writing an email to the woman journalist and also to the then managing editor of Tehelka, Shoma Chaudhury.

The investigators said they would seek extension of Tejpal's police custody when his six-day remand ends on Friday. "The summons have 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.

Tejpal has been accused of sexually assaulting the woman journalist in an elevator at a starred hotel here during the THiNK Fest event held earlier last month. The journalist has said that she was sexually assaulted twice by Tejpal.

Image: Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal interacts with the media at Delhi before flying to Goa, where he was arrested

Photograph: Reuters

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