A file photo of Tarun Tejpal. Photo: HT
A file photo of Tarun Tejpal. Photo: HT

Sexual assault case: Tarun Tejpal’s bail plea rejected

Tejpal has been in custody since his arrest and faces a possible rape charge over the allegations that could see him jailed for 10 years

Panaji: An Indian judge refused bail on Wednesday to a news magazine editor who was arrested in late November on allegations of sexually assaulting a young female colleague in a Goa hotel.

Tarun Tejpal, the 50-year-old founder of top investigative magazine Tehelka, has been in custody since his arrest and faces a possible rape charge over the allegations that could see him jailed for 10 years.

Judge Anuja Prabhudesai dismissed the bail application filed by Tejpal to a district court in Goa, after prosecutors expressed fears he may influence witnesses if he was given bail.

The woman, who has quit the magazine since the scandal broke, has told police her former employer molested her twice in a hotel elevator during a magazine-sponsored event in the seaside holiday hotspot.

With India’s media newly sensitized to sexual assault cases after a string of widely publicized gang rape cases this year, the incident was front-page news for days last year.

The fatal gang rape of a student on a Delhi bus in December 2012 sparked sometimes violent demonstrations and a long period of introspection in India about rising crime against women and gender inequality.

The magazine has reported forcefully on gender inequality in India, highlighting police and judicial insensitivity to rape victims as well as the misogynistic attitudes of many Indian men.

It has been accused of hypocrisy and trying to cover up a serious crime after staff were initially sent an email saying Tejpal was stepping down for six months for “misconduct".

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