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Tejpal, the founding editor of ‘Tehelka’ magazine, was charged with sexual assault, rape and outraging the modesty of a colleague at a party. He was in judicial custody since 30 November. Photo: HT
Tejpal, the founding editor of ‘Tehelka’ magazine, was charged with sexual assault, rape and outraging the modesty of a colleague at a party. He was in judicial custody since 30 November. Photo: HT

Supreme Court grants bail to Tarun Tejpal

The apex court granted bail with the rider that Tejpal would not influence the witnesses or tamper with evidence

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to Tehelka founding editor Tarun Tejpal, who has been embroiled in a sexual assault case.

A bench of justices H.L. Dattu and S.A. Bobde allowed Tejpal to be released on the condition that he does not try to influence witnesses or tamper with evidence in any manner. The court also directed Tejpal to surrender his passport and appear before the trial court for hearings without taking unnecessary adjournments. The case has been left pending, with the Goa government at liberty to apply for revocation of bail in case of foul play.

The bench directed that the trial should be concluded expeditiously in the coming eight months, saying an accused who hadn’t been convicted and sentenced ought not to be kept in prison after a chargesheet had been filed.

Senior lawyer Salman Khurshid, who represented Tejpal in his bail plea, said that the battle ahead is a difficult one. However, he said the grant of bail was a “strong affirmation of liberty and Article 21" of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and personal liberty to all individuals.

Professor Vibhuti Patel, who teaches on women’s rights at SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai, said, “I don’t think he (Tejpal) deserves this kindness. In case of rape, other accused get heavy punishment. The kind of record he has, the enormous power he enjoys in the Delhi elite circle and the media, he can influence the witnesses." she said.

Tejpal is charged with sexual assault, rape and outraging the modesty of a colleague after a party in Goa. He has been in judicial custody in Goa since 30 November. He was granted interim bail for 3 weeks on 19 May, extended till 1 July, after his mother’s death.

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