Tehelka case: Outlook essay suggests victim testimony doesn't match CCTV

The Tehelka sexual assault case unfolded as a high octane drama where public and political outrage combined to make it a headline grabbing incident for several weeks.. Every twist, every accusation and every sentence spoken in defence by all the parties involved played out in a in mainstream and social media in deafening volumes. Tejpal was arrested by Goa Police and his several attempts to get bail, have been refuted.

Now, Outlook has published a story penned by Manu Joseph, former editor of the Open Magazine, which suggests that there are several inconsistencies in the statements made by the victim and what the actual CCTV footage from the hotel, where the incident allegedly took place. In the nearly 4,000 word long account, Joseph points out that how the victim, Tejpal's junior colleague, describes her and the assaulter's body language and gestures. He then says that from the footage, which he watched, not all of that can be corroborated.

The article begins with an account of Joseph's meeting in Goa with Tejpal's younger daughter and later, him. The family provided him with the tapes.

 Tehelka case: Outlook essay suggests victim testimony doesnt match CCTV

Tarun Tejpal. AFP.

The story concludes with the following paragraph:

"It is possible that the inconsistencies between the Young Woman’s statements and the hard truth of the video footage are consequences of lapses in memory. When I tried to recount my recent actions for which there were video recordings and when I checked the actual footage, there were surprising inconsistencies between the facts and how I remembered the facts. Also, there is not a moment in the footage that shows the Young Woman exhibiting anything resembling physical affection for Tejpal. But then her memory of Tejpal pulling her into the elevator on three occasions, when he clearly did no such thing, have in no small measure contributed to serious charges against him.

The fast-track court has refused to intervene in Tejpal’s request for pens and scribbling pads. The court leaves it to the discretion of the Sada sub-jail, which eventually grants him his request. These are the triumphs in Tejpal’s life these days as he faces at least 10 years in prison if found guilty."

Read the entire Outlook story here.

Updated Date: Mar 29, 2014 18:11:38 IST