Tejpal’s bail hearing slated to March 4

Panaji, Feb 18: The Bombay High Court bench in Panaji has deferred Tehelka editor-founder Tarun Tejpal’s bail plea to March 4.

Tejpal, who was Monday charge sheeted by the Crime Branch in a trial court for a range of sex crimes against a junior colleague, had approached the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court for bail.

The postponement of the bail hearing by Justice Mridula Bhatkar brings no relief to Tejpal, who has spent 80 days in police and judicial custody since his arrest Nov 30.

The high court also called for a copy of the charge sheet filed against Tejpal before the hearing March 4.

A junior colleague has accused Tejpal of sexual assault during ThinkFest, a high-profile conference organised by the Tehelka founder in Goa.

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

After a brisk investigation, the Crime Branch of Goa Police charged Tejpal 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 committing rape in his custody).

Tejpal is at present lodged in Sada sub-jail located in Vasco, 35 km from here.

–Indo-Asian News service

maya/pr/vt

IANS