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Tejpal withdraws bail plea in HC to move "appropriate" court

PTI | Last Updated: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 18:33

New Delhi: In a change of strategy, Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexual assault against a woman colleague, Thursday withdrew his bail plea in the Delhi High Court, saying he will "approach appropriate court for appropriate remedy".

A day before the High Court was to pass order on his bail plea, Tejpal counsel made the plea which was allowed by Justice Sunita Gupta who had yesterday reserved her order in the matter.

"We told the judge that we are withdrawing it with a liberty to approach appropriate court for appropriate remedy which also includes anticipatory bail and the court allowed our plea," advocate Sandeep Kapur, appearing for Tejpal, said.

Tejpal had stepped down as Tehelka Editor-in-Chief for six months in the wake of the sexual assault case against him.

Fearing arrest by Goa police in connection with the case, Tejpal had approached the High Court seeking either anticipatory or transit bail.

He was summoned by the Goa police to appear before it today by 3 PM. Tejpal, in the meantime, wrote a letter to the Goa police saying that he is ready to cooperate in the investigation and sought two days time to appear before it. He said that he will be reaching Goa on Saturday afternoon.

Amidst speculation that Tejpal might approach the Supreme Court, his wife, daughter and some close friends were seen in the apex court in the morning along with his counsel Geeta Luthra and Kapur.
Kapur, however, said that Tejpal is not planning to move the apex court in the matter.
Tejpal had yesterday failed to get any immediate relief on his anticipatory bail petition in the Delhi High Court.

The Goa police direction to him yesterday came after the victim, who has alleged that she was sexually assaulted by him in a lift in a five-star hotel in Goa earlier this month, recorded her statement under Section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate in Panaji.

The controversy also saw resignation of Shoma Chaudhury as
Managing Editor of Tehelka, who is being accused of covering up the matter.

Chaudhury sent her resignation early this morning as there was speculation that she may also be named in the FIR for certain alleged acts of commission and omission after the scandal became public.

Yesterday, Tejpal`s counsel had sought in the high court that till November 29, when the court was to pronounce order, the editor should not be arrested in the case.

Tejpal alleged that the case has been foisted on him at the behest of BJP which was targeting him for having several years back caught the then BJP president in a sting operation accepting money.

The judge, however, had declined the oral plea for an order that he should not be arrested for the next two days. The Goa police counsel had refuted Tejpal`s submissions, saying "this is a man married with a family and was dealing with an employee who is a friend of his daughter and whom he knew from her childhood. This offence shows the depravity of highest order by a man who is having control over the victim.

"...The man acts like a predator and treats the incident as a drunken banter. He is treating a woman like an object because he is in a position of dominance. There is no question of consent. It has happened to a hapless woman. It is not a case for any indulgence by the court."
Tejpal`s counsel had referred to the contents of the FIR alleging the girl has used words like "attempted" and "tried" in relation to the alleged offences and hence, they did not make out a case of rape as alleged by Goa Police.

The Goa police has registered the FIR against Tejpal for allegedly sexually assaulting his junior on November 7 and 8 in a lift in a five-star hotel in Panaji.

First Published: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 18:33
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