New Delhi: BJP on Friday said suggestions that the victim in Tarun Tejpal alleged sexual assault case can opt for an in-house inquiry by Tehelka and not go for a criminal probe is an "accused-friendly" approach and insisted the two options should complement each other instead of being alternatives.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley issued a statement on the issue and emphasised that everybody should encourage victims to depose "truly and faithfully" as punishing an offender acts as a deterrant in the larger interest of society.
Referring to debates in various news channels on the Tejpal issue, Jaitley said "regretfully, some participants provided an escape route for the accused. They argued that the victim has a freedom of choice whether to pursue her complaint before the in-house inquiry or pursue the criminal investigation."
Tehelka has constituted a committee to look into the alleged sexual harrasment of a journalist by its editor Tarun Tejpal in Goa around ten days ago.
The eminent lawyer claimed a criminal offence is not just a crime against a victim but also a crime against society.
"This is precisely why the `State` pursues a criminal action. The public exchequer pays for it. There is a larger public interest in punishing a criminal. A departmental or an in-house inquiry and a criminal trial complement each other. They are not alternatives," Jaitley said.
"Public interest must always prevail over private embarrassments. The `alternative option` theory is an accused-friendly approach," he added.