Goa Police on Friday filed a case of rape and outraging of modesty against Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal for his having made sexual assault on his women journalist colleague in course of lift -journey which has been surfaced 10 days ago through the email by the victim .
In a letter to Managing Editor of Tehelka Shoma Chaudhary, Mr. Tejpal said, “The last few days have been most testing, and I squarely take the blame for this… A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for.”
“I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned journalist, but I feel impelled to atone further,” he added.
DGP Kishan Kumar said,“An FIR has been filed for rape and outraging modesty (against Tejpal). This is one part of the process of investigation and law will take its course.
The charges relate to section 376 (rape) and section 354 RPT 354 (outraging modesty) of IPC, he said.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said police have complete authority to investigate the sexual assault case against Tejpal and they should not worry about the stature of the person involved.
“I have given complete authority to the police to investigate the case. I have told them don’t worry whether the person is low profile or high profile. Stature does not count. What counts is the crime. You go by what is correct in law,” the Chief Minister told the police.
Asked about Tehelka’s position that they would not cooperate in the probe until the victim lodges a complaint, Parrikar said, “I don’t think that is the legal position. Police will take appropriate action.”
He said under a Supreme Court judgement police have a duty to file an FIR in accordance with law in cognisable offences, where as law practitioners comment that FIR can be lodged by a third party but the statement of the victim matters much for proceeding further.Hence ,investigation by police of Goa appears being hasty and may be a kind of over-interestedness
The DGP said the crime branch could send a team of officials to Delhi for further investigation.
Mr. Parrikar had on Thursday ordered a preliminary inquiry into the allegations by the girl that she was sexually abused by Tejpal during an event in Goa.
The alleged incident happened in a lift in a five star hotel in Goa about 10 days ago.
DIG O P Mishra said the CCTV footage was received from the hotel last evening and was preserved. The details of the incident can only be known after examining the footage, he said.
Police have already written to the Tehelka management, asking for the documents including email of the victim and the statement by Tejpal.