Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal,accused of sexually assaulting a journalist woman colleague,will be tried in a fast track court by a female judge even as he insisted that whatever happened between the two was “consensual”.
In Delhi,Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said,”Tejpal will be tried in a fast track court. We will follow the Supreme Court’s guidelines and have a female judge in this case.”
“I will see to it that justice is given to the girl. No one need be worried that Tejpal,just because of his earlier background,will be treated in a wrong way or a different way,” he said while responding to a question at a function.
Tehelka’s sting operation had led to the resignation of the then BJP president Bangaru Laxman who was caught on tape accepting money from undercover television reporters in connection with a purported defence deal.
In Panaji,a senior police officer said,”The investigation is heading in the right direction and we are interrogating Tejpal in detail…He is cooperating. The detailed statements of Tejpal are being recorded by a team led by Investigating Officer (IO) Sunita Sawant under the supervision of Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares.
“Tejpal has been maintaining that the act was consensual though he has not denied having indulged in the act,” the officer said on the condition of anonymity.
He has corroborated what the young girl has stated in her complaint,except that the act was “forced upon the girl,” and has so far stuck to his version that the act was consensual,the official said.
Tejpal,who has been in police custody since Saturday night,has been spending much of his time going around pathological labs at Goa Medical College and OPD of the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB).
Tejpal will now undergo a third round of medical tests. “We hardly get time to interrogate him. The Goa Medical College has now called (him) for the third round of medical examination,” an official said,adding that GMC has been conducting all the tests which are mandatory as per the procedure.
Tejpal spent the entire day at GMC on December 2,followed by Wednesday.
The interrogation of the accused began on Sunday at the Crime Branch.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.