Panaji: Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused by his junior colleague of sexual assault, today alleged he has been framed because of “political vendetta.”
50-year-old Tejpal, who pleaded innocence, made the claim as he failed to get any relief from the Bombay High Court, which deferred hearing of his bail plea till next month, a day after he was charged with rape and sexual assault of the young woman journalist here in November last year.
“The charge sheet against me is out of political vendetta. I have done nothing wrong. I am innocent. I am not involved,” he told waiting reporters while emerging from the court.
“The entire truth is in the CCTV footage and it will be known to the world,” he said.
Dressed in a white kurta and grey trousers, Tejpal was brought in a police van to the court where he sat in the front row beside his lawyer Sandip Kapoor.
Tejpal has been charged with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman journalist in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa when they had gone to see off Hollywood star Robert de Niro to his room. De Niro was there to attend ThinkFest, an event organised by Tehelka.
Goa police yesterday filed a 2,846-page charge sheet against Tejpal, in jail since December 1, under sections 354, 354-A (sexual harassment), 341 and 342 (wrongful restraint), 376 (rape), 376(2)(f) and 376 (2)(k) (taking advantage of official position and raping a woman in custody).
Deputy Inspector General of Police O P Mishra said there is a provision that the offences which are attracted, which we have registered in this particular case, the trial should be completed within 60 days of the filing of the charge sheet.
Mishra said the Special Public Prosecutor in the case would request the trial court judge to conduct trial on a daily basis and conclude the proceedings within 60 days.
Tejpal, currently lodged in Sada sub jail in Vasco town near here, was present in the court during the hearing and has been permitted to attend the proceedings on March 4 when his bail application would be heard again.