Panaji: Tehelka Founder-Editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused by a woman journalist of sexual assault, has now alleged that the case against him is political vendetta. This comes as he gets no relief from custody as his bail plea has been adjourned till March 4.
Tejpal was on Monday charged with rape by the Goa Police. He has also been slapped with charges of sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman. Police reportedly filed the chargesheet before Principal Additional Sessions Court judge Anuja Prabhudesai on Monday.
It has said in the chargesheet that sufficient evidence were there on record to show that Tejpal had evaded arrest following the complaint.
If proven guilty, Tejpal can be sentenced for more than seven years of imprisonment on these charges.
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 chargesheet filed before Chief Judicial Magistrate Anuja Prabhudesai, after examining 152 witnesses including the victim, staff of Tehelka magazine and the investigating officer in the case.
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 has claimed in the chargesheet 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.