Goa court sets aside order on separate cell for Tejpal

Tarun TejpalA Panaji magistrate court cancelled a pervious order on keeping former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal in a separate cel. (IE Photo)

A Panaji magistrate court cancelled a pervious order on keeping former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal in a separate cell after the advocate representing him informed the court on Friday that they were withdrawing their application.

On December 11, Judicial Magistrate Bosco Roberts had passed an order for separate confinement for Tejpal at Sada Jail. It issued notices to the jailer of Sada jail and the Inspector General of Prisons (Goa) for suitable arrangement — "if feasible" — as Tejpal fears a threat to his life.

On Friday, the Investigation Officer gave the IG (Prisons) reply which stated that the request could not be entertained as the jail was overcrowded and currently accommodates 350 undertrials beyond its capacity of 200.

Before the prosecution could open its argument however, Tejpal's counsel Raunaq Rao said he had been given instructions to withdraw the application. "We are informed that some measures have been taken by the jail authorities, hence we do not wish to press for the application".

Special public prosecutor Francisco Tavora argued that the request could have not been accepted anyway as separate confinement is equal to solitary confinement which is only applicable for a convict who is on death row. "We do not have to go that route, at least not yet. Tejpal, we are informed, has been given the most comfortable ward, much to the discomfort of others".

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