Goa court sends Tarun Tejpal to police custody

Tejpal was taken for medical examination following which his interrogation began.

Judge Anuja Prabhudesai, after hearing both sides, took about three hours to dictate the order denying bail to Tejpal. The order was announced at 8.10 pm.

The Goa police would have to produce Tejpal in court within 24 hours of his arrest. The judge allowed Tejpal to take the assistance of his lawyer briefly once a day, if he wanted, during the interrogation process. He will also be allowed home-cooked food. On Saturday morning, Tejpal’s counsel Geeta Luthra argued that custodial interrogation of his client was not required as he has not evaded arrest any time, public prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar said that the victim had been consistent in her submission and that custodial interrogation of Tejpal was required.

Lotlikar argued that Tejpal, who has been charged with sexually assaulting a colleague, should be in police custody so that he can be properly interrogated. ‘The accused has been changing colours like a chameleon through different statements,’ he told the district and sessions judge.

Lotlikar said the CCTV footage of the hotel in Goa where the incident occurred early this month gives enough hints confirming the allegation of rape. The public prosecutor also argued that Tejpal was not available for Goa police and appeared only after getting interim relief from court on Friday. Luthra argued Tejpal was ready to stay in Goa till the time the investigating team needed him. He was ready to surrender all documents including his passport, she said, adding that his arrest was not necessary. ‘There should not be any fear that he (Tejpal) will tamper with witnesses or evidence,’ she said.

Luthra also ruled out the possibility of Tejpal fleeing the country, saying he has not fled before the FIR or after that. ‘My client cannot tamper with the aggrieved girl as she will stand by her statement,’ said Luthra.

Wrapping up her arguments, she said false allegation of rape can bring distress to the accused and cause equal damage to him as to the complainant. She said as the rape law has become more stringent, so it is all the more required for the accused to defend himself for which ‘his liberty may be preserved’.
Before attending court, Tejpal presented himself before the crime branch office at Dona Paula on Saturday morning, saying he was available to them and not evading arrest.
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