|Indian editor Tejpal denied bail over rape charge
A leading Indian editor charged with raping a colleague insisted he was innocent, after a court deferred his plea for bail today.
Tarun Tejpal, (Pictured) the founder and editor of leading investigative magazine Tehelka, has been in custody since his arrest in late November over the alleged incident in a hotel lift in the southern state of Goa, AFP reports.
On Monday Tejpal was charged with a series of offenses including sexual harassment, outraging modesty and rape.
“The charge sheet against me is out of political vendetta. I am innocent,'' the 50-year old told reporters outside the court in Goa's capital Panaji, after his bail hearing was deferred until March 4 and he was taken back into custody.
“The truth is in the CCTV footage and it will be known to the world,'' he said, dressed in a white Indian kurta [tunic] for his court appearance, at which his family members were also present.
The woman, who has quit the magazine since the scandal broke and who cannot be named for legal reasons, has told police she was molested twice in the lift during a magazine-sponsored event in the state.
Police say their investigation gathered CCTV footage showing the pair entering the elevator – although there was no camera inside it – and other evidence including email and SMS exchanges between them.
Investigating officer Sunita Sawant filed a 2,684-page charge sheet before the court on Monday, saying there was enough evidence to prove the charges.
Police said they also sought on Monday a fast-track trial that could be completed within 60 days.