Police demand 14-day custody of 'chameleon' Tejpal

PTI, PANAJI | 30 November 2013 13:39 IST

Strongly opposing his anticipatory bail petition in the Sessions court, Goa Police today sought custodial interrogation of Tarun Tejpal saying "prima facie" a case of rape is established as the judge adjourned hearing till 4.30 PM.

Public Prosecutor (PP) Saresh Lotlikar argued that Tehelka editor Tejpal, who has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman colleague in a five star hotel here, should be in police custody so that he can be properly interrogated.

He said Tejpal has been changing his version and is now claiming that he has not been heard.

"The accused has been changing colours like a chameleon through different statements," he told the District and Sessions Judge Anuja Prabhudesai.

Tejpal, who was present in the court today, was later heckled by a protester who hurled a black flag on him, but missed the target as he entered the car.

Lotlikar said the CCTV footage of the hotel in Goa where the incident occurred early this month gives enough hints confirming the allegation of rape.

The public prosecutor also argued that Tejpal was not available for Goa Police and appeared only after getting interim relief from court yesterday.

He alleged that Tejpal has in the past tried to influence the family of the complainant and referred to an FIR filed in Delhi in this regard.

That the accused is interfering in the investigation is well corroborated by his past conduct, he said.

The PP noted that the victim has been consistent in her statements.

At the end of prosecution's arguments, judge Prabhudesai adjourned the matter till 4.30 PM, when the order is expected.

As the hearing resumed this morning, Tejpal's lawyer Geeta Luthra said he was ready to stay in Goa till the time the investigating agency needed him. He was ready to surrender all documents including his passport, she said, telling the police his arrest was not necessary.

She said he will also not visit Mumbai, where the victim is currently residing. .

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