A team of Goa police raided the residence of Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal in New Delhi on Friday morning with an arrest warrant but did not find him there.
The team reached Tejpal's house at 6am and spent around 90 minutes searching for him. His wife Geetan Batra refused to disclose any details about the whereabouts of Tejpal, who has been accused in a sexual assault case, police told PTI.
Police issued an arrest warrant against Tejpal when he failed to appear for questioning in the assault case at CID crime branch in Panjim at 3pm on Thursday.
Instead, he sent a fax addressed to investigating officer Sunita Sawant, saying he would require time till Saturday afternoon to appear for interrogation since he is not a resident of Goa.
The team was accompanied by Crime branch officers of Delhi Police. Officials might look for him at other locations in Delhi.
Tejpal's lawyer had told PTI that he would file for an anticipatory bail plea at the Goa sessions court in Panaji on Friday. "I had sent a fax to the Goa Police seeking 48 hours time, they rejected it. I sent another fax saying I will join the investigation," he told ANI.
When Goa DIG OP Mishra was asked whether it was a non-bailable warrant issued against Tejpal, he had said in a press conference, "It has serious implications and as per law empowered, we are proceeding without any further delay".
According to PTI, police secured a non-bailable warrant against 50-year-old Tejpal on Thursday itself. The hearing for the case is scheduled for 2.30 pm Friday at the sessions court in Panjim.
Abha Singh, Lawyer: "Tarun Tejpal should be declared absconder, any person harbouring him will also be accused. Goa police has given enough time to Tejpal to abscond, if he is not found then Goa police is held responsible. Goa police should have raided Shoma Chaudhury and Tarun Tejpal's house long ago."
Vijay Kumar Singh: "My view is that Tarun Tejpal has been a predator on employees. Must have got away earlier hence unbiased investigation needed to punish him."
Shamina Shafiq, National Commission of Women member: "Tarun Tejpal should cooperate with agencies, by not being available he is creating trouble, he must cooperate."
Subramanian Swamy, BJP leader: "Tez may be hiding in his sympathisers' houses. Goa police should search at10 Janpath."
Sudheendra Kulkarni, political activist: "This is a time of deep credibility crisis for the media fraternity. Do we practice what we preach? Don't we need to do honest introspection?"
Kiran Bedi, social activist and former IPS officer: "Who is giving legal advice to #Tejpal ?He needs to be told that he cannot escape the law any longer! By hiding he is hurting himself more!"