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Tejpal arrested after court rejects his anticipatory bail plea

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Tejpal arrested after court rejects his anticipatory bail plea
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Tejpal’s cat-and-mouse game with the police ended 90 minutes after District and Sessions Judge Anuja Prabhudesai rejected his anticipatory bail plea which was argued for the last two days and strongly opposed by the prosecution. Details of the order are yet to come out.

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 for three and half hours from 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 be taken for mandatory medical test.

Known for investigative journalism through sting operations, Tejpal dodged a combined team of Goa and Delhi police which had raided his house in Delhi at the crack of dawn yesterday. He landed in Goa only after the Sessions Judge gave him interim protection against arrest order till her final order.

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

Since then, he has made flipflops, claiming it was a consensual act and virtually questioning the integrity of the woman journalist who had alleged that he attempted sexual assault on her twice in a lift in a fivestar hotel here.

The 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.

However, the Judge allowed Tejpal to take the assistance of his lawyer briefly once a day, if he wants, 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.

50-year-old Tehelka founder was in the Crime Branch headquarters even as the judgment was awaited.

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

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

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

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