Panaji: The Bombay High Court has allowed former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal’s plea to conduct the hearing on his bail application in-camera.

As the case was called out at the Panaji bench of the high court Tuesday morning, journalists were asked to vacate the court room.

While the defence counsel is expected to seek bail for Tejpal, who has been in custody since Nov 30 on charges of raping a junior colleague, the prosecution will oppose to the plea and also inform the court about the fresh cases filed against Tejpal.

Since his arrest, Tejpal has been accused of possessing a mobile phone while in judicial custody as well as criminally intimidating the woman police officer investigating the case.

The high court Feb 18 had postponed the hearing of his bail plea, while seeking a copy of the chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch a day earlier.

After a fast-tracked investigation, which many attribute to political vendetta, the Goa Police Crime Branch charged Tejpal under sections 354, 354-A (sexual harassment), 341 and 342 (wrongful restrain), 376 (rape), 376(2)(f) and 376 (2)(k) (takes advantage of his official position and commits rape in his custody).

Tejpal has already spent 80 days in police and judicial custody following his arrest.

A junior colleague had accused Tejpal of alleged rape during ThinkFest, a high profile conference organised by the Tehelka founder in Goa which was attended by Hollywood star Robert de Niro.

The victim had claimed that she was sexually assaulted twice Nov 7 and 8.

Tejpal is presently lodged in Sada sub jail located in Vasco, 35 km from here.

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