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Shoma Chaudhuri, 3 other Tehelka staff may be summoned

Wednesday, 4 December 2013 - 5:44pm IST | Agency: PTI

Goa police plans to summon Tehelka's former Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury and three other employees in connection with the probe in the sexual assault case against Tarun Tejpal even as Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said the chargesheet will be filed in about a month.

Chaudhury and three witnesses, in whom the victim had confided about what transpired between her and Tejpal at a five star hotel on two occasions when he allegedly sexually assaulted her, may be called to record their statements before a magistrate.

"We have sought permission from the court to summon Chaudhury and three witnesses to record their statements before a magistrate," a senior crime branch officer said.

A team of Goa police had already recorded Chaudhury's statement in Delhi before she quit as managing editor amid outrage over her attempts at covering up the raging scandal.

Chaudhury's statement is "very crucial" as she was the first person to have come to know of alleged sexual assault on the young journalist by Tejpal.

Any statement or confession recorded by a metropolitan or judicial magistrate under section 164 of CrPC is admissible as evidence in a court.

The crime branch officer said the four would be called after court gives a date for recording their statements.

At a press conference today, the Chief Minister said the police would file the chargesheet in one to one-and-half months in the case but ruled out political interference in the investigations. 

Parrikar also said he would ensure that Tejpal is done justice in the case.

"I will ensure that justice would be given to Tejpal. Justice does not mean not to punish him but fair investigation would be conducted in the matter," he said.

Meanwhile, Judicial Magistrate First Class Kshama Joshi today rejected Tejpal's application for a fan in the lock up where he is in police custody since Saturday.

On December 2, Tejpal's lawyer had petitioned the court for a fan to be installed in the lock up on humanitarian ground.

A woman journalist of Tehelka, who later resigned, has accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her twice on November 7 and 8 in Goa. Tejpal has been booked under Sections 354A (outraging the modesty of a woman) and 376 (2)(K) (custodial rape) of IPC.

Tejpal, arrested for alleged sexual assault and rape of a junior woman colleague, had undergone several medical examinations on Monday, including a potency test, whose result was positive.

"He (Tejpal) has been taken again for further medical examination this morning," a senior police officer said, adding he would be subjected to various medical tests that are required as part of investigation.

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