Former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal’s defence – the CCTV footage outside the elevator – does not hold water, the Bombay High Court bench said here Friday while rejecting his bail plea in a sexual assault case. Justice Utkarsh Bakre said at this stage the CCTV footage “does not help the applicant prove his innocence”.
“Suffice it to say, that the CCTV footage prima facie does not help the applicant prove his innocence, since it did not cover the incident inside the lift,” Bakre’s order reads.
“Be that as it may, I am not inclined to go meticulously into the appreciation of evidence at this stage,” he said.
Tejpal, who has been accused of raping a then junior employee in an elevator, has claimed in his earlier statements to the media that the CCTV footage alone was enough to prove his innocence.
Bakre said the CCTV footage could only come into play in later stages of trial when the victim is being cross-examined.
“In so far as the coverage of what happened outside, they give rise to different views and truth will come when there is cross-examination of the victim on her version vis-a-vis the CCTV footage,” he said.