BJP settling scores with Tejpal: Medha Patkar (JPN/Agencies)
While the defence was granted four hours to make their case, the prosecution bench took only 45 minutes to make their case and eventually win the first battle. The defence extended its argument made on Friday that Tejpal was fully co-operating with the investigators and that custodial interrogation was not necessary.
Lead defence lawyer Geeta Luthra offered several concessions to the prosecution like Tejpal's willingness to stay in Goa until police requires, surrendering of his passport and fixed deposits among others.
"I have offered that I will stay in Goa until a chargesheet is filed. I can be in Bangalore. I can be wherever this court directs," Luthra also said on Tejpal's behalf. She also assured that for the duration of the investigation, Tejpal would not visit Mumbai, where the victim resides. She said that Tejpal does not have any criminal record and therefore should be considered or anticipatory bail.
Specially appointed public prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar, however argued that Tejpal was changing colours like a chameleon and that police custody is required to complete the Tejpal end of the probe and get the real story out of him.
"Custodial interrogation is a must," Lotlikar said. "Your contention that your (Tejpal's) immaculate reputation will be damaged... may we tell you that it's already gone for a toss, and mere detention under police custody won't do any further damage," the prosecution argued.
Lotlikar also submitted the victim's statement to the judge and said that CCTV footage secured by police from the hotel had "enough hints" to confirm the victim's allegations of rape.
The prosecution also refuted claims made by the defence that the complainant had "vested interests" and therefore delayed informing her superiors about the two alleged sexual assaults by Tejpal in a Goa resort earlier this month.
"The lady is known to accused and her father was a friend of the accused. Being the sole breadwinner, she had to make the decision of her life before writing the email," Lotlikar argued, saying that the victim had confessed about the assault in the elevator to two-three colleagues.
Lotlikar also said that Tejpal's associates had even tried to intimidate the victim's kin in Delhi and that a case had already been filed in that regard.
"That the accused is trying to interfere with investigation is proved in the case," Lotlikar said, making a strong case for Tejpal's custodial interrogation. Lotlikar also accused Tejpal of insulting the victim by questioning her integrity adding that she had been "violated by a person who was like a father figure".
Meanwhile, social activist Medha Patkar claimed that the BJP is settling scores with Tejpal.
"It is obvious that BJP will use it to settle scores as they once have been at the receiving end of sting operations by Tehelka," Patkar said.
"This should not be politicised. If he has committed any offence and it is proved in court then the law will take its own course," she added.
Patkar further said that she did not feel that the police investigations into the incident were politically motivated.
BJP settling scores with Tejpal: Medha Patkar