Moving towards his imminent arrest, the Goa Police on Thursday rejected Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal's plea seeking two more days to appear before it in connection with the allegations that he sexually assaulted a junior colleague.
Tejpal, who had been called on Thursday, is expected to appear before the investigating team on Friday. “We have sent a fax to the Goa Police and have informed them that he will join the investigation tomorrow,” his counsel Sandeep Kapur said. Police sources confirmed that they had received the fax.
Confirming that they have started the procedure of arresting Tejpal, Goa Police DIG O P Mishra said, “Kissiko is cheez ka sandeh nahi hona chahiye, probe ka next logical step wohi hai (nobody should have a doubt about this, arrest is the next logical step)”. Police sources added that Tejpal would be arrested “whenever the investigating team comes face to face with him”.
Earlier in the day, Tejpal withdrew his anticipatory bail plea from the Delhi High Court, saying he would file a fresh plea “before the appropriate court”. The court was set to hear the plea on Friday. Tejpal’s counsel, senior advocate Geeta Luthra, informed the court that the petition was being withdrawn, and sought leave to file a fresh plea before the appropriate court.
The withdrawal of the petition is being seen as a move to protect Tejpal from a possible adverse order by the Delhi High Court. If the court had dismissed his plea, or given any adverse remarks in the judgment, it would have negatively affected his chances of getting relief from the Goa courts, which would have taken the High Court’s observations into account.
Addressing a press conference in Panjim, Mishra said, “Notice was issued... to Tarun Tejpal to appear before the investigating officer (IO) at 3 pm on Thursday. It was duly served on him and received by his family members, but today, till 3 pm, he failed to appear. At 12 noon, we received a letter which was signed by Tarun Tejpal and addressed to the investigating officer seeking extension for appearance. Since he is not in Goa, he sought appearance by Saturday. The same copy was served by one of his advocates here at the Dona Paula Crime Branch office.”
Police sources Tejpal was called after duly studying the time taken to travel from New Delhi to Goa and the availability