Tehelka case: Is Tarun Tejpal 'threatening' IO Sunita Sawant?

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Panaji, Jan 28: The former Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka magazine, Tarun Tejpal has been now accused of "threatening and intimidating" the investigating officer Sunita Sawant during the course of inquiry.

According to a news report, 50-year-old Tejpal has accused Sunita Sawant of using 'allegations of intimidation' as a ploy to sabotage his chances of getting bail.

In his letter written to Sunita Sawant and carbon copied to Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, IGP Goa Police, DIG Goa Police and others, Tejpal said he is shocked and distressed to have discovered that she has stated in court during his bail hearing that she was threatened or intimidated by Tejpal... Stating that he has been fully cooperative throughout his custody, Tejpal has said that the allegation has reinforced his fear that he cannot expect an unprejudiced and fair investigation under Sunita Sawant.

Tarun Tejpal was denied bail by Judicial Magistrate First Class in Panjim after IO Sunita Sawant had filed a complaint before the magistrate alleging Tejpal of threatening and intimidating her. The IO had made the complaint before Judge Anuja Prabhudesai who dismissed the bail application filed by Tejpal. The IO's complaint was recorded as part of her reasons for denying bail to Tejpal.

Tarun Tejpal claims "false complaints" against him in letter

On January 27, Tejpal wrote a letter in which he has denied allegations saying "This is so far from the truth as to be outrageous. I categorically state that I have never ever threatened you. The fact is I have been impeccably cooperative with you and your team from the very beginning. I flew to Goa on receiving the summons, and surrendered myself to you at the crime branch office. Even though there are many reasons to doubt the bona fides of the FIR, I did not display any rancour or reluctance in dealing with you."

"There is not a single query that was put to me in my 10 days of police custody that I did not answer. There was no line of inquiry that I stonewalled - even though very often they appeared to have little to do with the case registered against me, and were more in the nature of fishing expeditions. In my 10 days of police custody I was interrogated by at least 5 different officers, ranging from the Deputy SP to Inspectors, and not one of them can point to a single question that I left unanswered or a single moment in which I refused to cooperate," Tejpal's letter to Chief Justice of Bombay High Court said.

Charge sheet on Tarun Tejpal by Feb 5

I write this in sorrow, and in deep distress: Tarun Tejpal in letter

Meanwhile, the charge sheet against Tarun Tejpal in connection with the sexual assault case would be filed by next week.

"The charge sheet in Tehelka case would be filed by February 5. The investigation in the case is almost over," a senior crime branch official said.

A former junior woman journalist of the Tehelka magazine had alleged that Tejpal had sexually assaulted her inside the lift of a five-star hotel during an event in Goa in November last year.

Tejpal was arrested by the crime branch police on November 30 in Goa after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a local court. He is currently lodged in Sada sub jail in Vasco after the court sent him in judicial custody.

The Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant is considered to be one of the toughest and the most rigorous officers in Goa police's crime branch.

OneIndia News

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