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Tehelka journalist ‘recorded’ calls from Tarun Tejpal,Shoma Chaudhury

Tarun Tejpal has been accused of raping his junior colleague during an event in Goa.

Written by Smita Nair | Panaji | Published: December 12, 2013 5:35 am

The Tehelka magazine journalist who has accused its founder-editor Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her recorded her phone conversations with him and the then managing editor Shoma Chaudhury after the alleged incident and has submitted them to the Goa police.

This was disclosed by the police in the judicial magistrate’s court Wednesday as they asked Tejpal be remanded to 14 days in judicial custody. The police said they needed to collect more evidence in a “serious and sensitive” crime for which Tejpal could be punished with “imprisonment for life”.

The court,however,remanded the veteran journalist to 12 days in judicial custody.

The police had earlier collected copies of emails and SMSes exchanged between the three in connection with the incident that is alleged to have taken place during a media event organised by the magazine in Goa last month.

The voice recordings form “crucial evidence” in the rape case being built against Tejpal,the police said. The other crucial evidence includes CCTV footage from Hotel Grand Hyatt where the assault allegedly took place,they said.

Investigating officer Sunita Sawant told the court that the complainant,who has since quit the magazine,had identified “Tejpal and herself in the CCTV footage”.

The police asked the court to remand Tejpal to 14 days in judicial custody saying statements of other witnesses connected to the crime and living outside Goa were yet to be recorded.

“Since the accused is a high profile and influential person he may use all his tactics to win over,influence and pressurise witnesses who are mostly working for Tehelka.com in Mumbai and New Delhi,” the police said.

Tejpal’s lawyer Sandeep Kapoor asked the court

to lodge Tejpal in a separate cell saying “due to his nature of work,there are reasons to believe that he has threat

to his life if lodged in a crowded cell”.

Remanding Tejpal to custody in the Sada subjail,judge Bosco G F Roberts allowed him to be kept in a separate cell “if feasible” until the next hearing on this request on Friday.

Jail officials,however,said it would be difficult to accept “this unique request” as the jail,which is divided into 17 sections,houses 350 undertrials against a sanctioned strength of 200.

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