News East West
NEW DELHI: Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been charged with raping a woman journalist, was granted interim bail till 10am on Saturday by a Goa court.
Tejpal, who reached Panaji accompanied by his family, was earlier granted relief by the court till 2.30 PM (Friday) by which time it was to decide on his interim bail.
Earlier, after securing non-bailable warrants against him for his failure to appear before them by 3PM on Thursday, a team of Goa Police raided his residence in Jangpura in south Delhi early Friday. But there was no trace of Tejpal.
The Goa Police team, which was accompanied by Delhi Police personnel, spent about 90 minutes at Tejpal’s residence and then left. They failed to get any clues about Tejpal’s whereabouts from his wife Geetan Batra.
In Goa, Tejpal’s lawyers moved the district session court in Panaji on Friday morning to seek anticipatory bail for him. When the Goa court gave relief to Tejpal till 2.30PM, he surfaced at Delhi airport to take a flight to Goa.
The drama on Friday morning unfolded after Tejpal faxed Goa Police on Thursday that he will appear before them on Friday. But after his failure to appear before cops by 3PM, Goa Police got non-bailable warrants against him Thursday evening.
The non-bailable warrants came on a day of fast developments in the case as Shoma Choudhury, managing editor of Tehelka, who was accused of indulging in character assassination and intimidation by a junior woman journalist, resigned Thursday morning
The junior woman journalist, who was allegedly sexually molested by Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal on Nov 7-8 during the magazine’s `Thinkfest’ in Goa, had accused Shoma Choudhury of slander and character assassination after she (the victim) wrote to her about the incident.
In her one-page resignation letter, Shoma Choudhury said when she received the complaint from the woman journalist against Tarun Tejpal, she acted in “instant outrage and solidarity for our colleague as a woman and co-worker.”
She said, “There were only two days to act on the complaint before the story broke in the press. Post this, things have been misconstrued and have snowballed exponentially in the media, based on half-facts and selective leaks.’’
Shoma Choudhury said she has been accused of “cover-up’’ and not standing by the victim.
“While I accept that I could have done many things differently and in a more measured way, I reject the allegations of a cover-up because in no way could the first actions that were taken be deemed suppression of any kind. As for my feminist positions, I believe I acted in consonance with them by giving my colleague’s account precedence over everything else.’’
In her resignation letter, she said that “as a result of what’s transpired over the past few days my integrity has repeatedly been questioned by people from our fraternity and, in fact, by the public at large. I would like to take cognizance of this. I have worked hard for Tehelka for many years and what we have stood for is very dear to me and I hold it in high esteem. I do not want questions raised about my integrity to tarnish the image of Tehelka, which it has done in the past week. Therefore, I resign as managing editor with immediate effect.’’