He blames BJP for ‘vengeance’ and victim for ‘being normal’
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Claiming that the rape allegation was a "figment of the imagination" and a result of the "wrath of vengeance" of Goa's BJP government for the exposes published in his magazine, Tehelka founder and former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal sought anticipatory bail in the Delhi High Court Tuesday.
The court, however, refused to grant interim protection without hearing detailed arguments. "I don't even have a copy of the FIR, how can I pass any order," said Justice Sunita Gupta, directing the counsel for the Goa government to submit a copy of the FIR.
The matter is set to be heard Wednesday.
Claiming that a "false and concocted version of an intimate encounter between two individuals...has been played out as allegations of sexual assault", the bail plea filed by senior advocates K T S Tulsi and Geeta Luthra described the incident as "only light-hearted bantering".
Alleging that "the investigation agency in its endeavour to please its political masters" was "turning a blind eye" to the CCTV footage from the hotel, the plea claimed the "nature of the meeting" could be established by the footage.
Tejpal's contention in the petition is yet another shift in his stand in the case. He had first apologised unconditionally to the colleague who accused him of sexually assaulting her, saying he had attempted a sexual liaison with her two times.
He told Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury that he took blame for the incident and needed to atone. Subsequently, he told his friends in an SMS that the incident was fleeting and consensual and then told The Indian Express that the colleague was lying, he was being framed and political forces were driving much of it.
Tejpal's bail plea also claimed that the alleged victim "continued to party" and was "completely normal and friendly all throughout her stay in Goa". It said she and her family members had not approached the police to file a complaint, and the incident was "blown out of proportion by various groups with vested interests, including top-most executives of Goa and even national political leaders of one party".