Goa Police on Wednesday told Bombay High Court that kin of Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal, accused of raping a junior woman colleague, were showing CCTV footage related to the case to “everybody” in Delhi. “The CCTV footage is made available to Tejpal. The same footage is displayed to everybody in Delhi by the family members,” advocate Saresh Lotlikar, representing the state Crime Branch, told the Goa bench of Bombay High Court here.
Lotlikar was arguing against the bail petition filed by Tejpal, who is currently lodged in Sada sub jail. The court has kept the matter for order on March 14. However, advocate Amit Desai, representing Tejpal, said the CCTV footage procured outside the lift clearly indicates that there cannot be a case against the accused.
He rubbished the arguments that the victim was “way-laid, abused and taken advantage” by his client. Lotlikar said that if Tejpal is given bail, he will influence the witnesses and halt the process of trial. “Applicant (Tejpal) cannot be expected to be disciplined, if he is released on bail,” the lawyer said, in an animated one-hour arguments between defence and prosecution lawyers over the submissions.
The prosecution said details of the calls made from the cellphone which was allegedly found in possession of Tejpal in the jail were also being ascertained. The calls were found to be made to persons in Gurgaon and Delhi. “The victim is already feeling traumatised. She has disclosed that messages are being circulated vilifying her character,” Lotlikar said strongly opposing the bail plea. The crime was a premeditated one because “it was repeated twice over,” he said.
There may not be conclusive evidence against Tejpal, but the evidence is strong, he added. The prosecution sought to defeat the arguments that case against Tejpal was a political vendetta as the “entire charge sheet is based on the evidence collected through fair investigations.”
“The CCTV footage clearly indicates that the girl was running behind Tejpal after getting down from the lift as against the claims made that Tejpal ran after her,” Desai said, adding that the “the girl was happy and held back no tears.”
The footage also shows that the girl went into the lift with consent, Tejpal’s lawyer argued. Tejpal was present in the court flanked by his family members when the case was being argued. Desai said the complaint against Tejpal was an after thought, which can be revealed through two emails written by the victim which has certain details added in the second mail. Pleading for bail, the lawyer said the CCTV footage contradicts the claims of investigating agency that Tejpal raped the girl.