Tarun Tejpal at the Indira Gandhi airport in Delhi. Photo: IE
A Goa court on Friday gave minor relief to the founder-editor of Tehelka magazine, Tarun Tejpal, as it barred the police from arresting him until Saturday morning for allegedly raping a colleague, ending a day of high drama which saw the veteran journalist dodging police and arriving in Goa under intense media glare.
Tejpal reached Goa at 5.05 pm Friday amid protests outside the airport after being summoned by the police to appear before them.
In the interim bail application, he had sought protection from arrest after arriving in Goa to cooperate in the investigation. However, Principal Judge Anuja Prabhudesai first gave him interim relief until 2.30 pm Friday, after which Tejpal left from Delhi.
Tejpal’s lawyers had moved the court for bail after a joint team of the Goa and Delhi police went to his residence in South Delhi’s Jungpura area to arrest him Friday morning but did not find him there.
Arguing for his bail, Tejpal’s lawyer Geeta Luthra claimed there was political interference in the case, that the police is acting in a partisan manner and the atmosphere in the country had become “draconian”.
“Investigation is being done on the behest of political forces. The lady is not normal. The investigation is not being done in a fair manner. The law itself is draconian,” Luthra said referring to the amendments to the rape law after the December 16 Delhi gangrape. The judge pulled up Tejpal’s lawyer for naming the victim in an open court while reading the FIR.
Earlier, speaking to mediapersons outside the court, Luthra had said, “Mr Tejpal has maintained dignity of the situation…he has only gone by law, shown his respect for the law. He has to abide by every order”.