The hearing of the sexual assault case against Tehelka Magazine Founder and rape accused Tarun Tejpal has been scheduled for October 7 after Tejpal's plea to postpone it till November was heard and refused by North Goa district and sessions judge Kshama Joshi on Monday.
The trial had begun in September 2017 but was delayed after Tejpal had appealed to Supreme Court to quash the charges against him. Supreme Court rejected his plea and a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra last month asked the lower court to complete the trial in the case, within six months. Justice Arun Mishra said while delivering the order that the crime committed was morally abhorrent. The Goa Police had earlier claimed that there were "contemporaneous" WhatsApp messages and e-mails which showed Tejpal should face trial in the alleged sexual assault case. The police, while opposing Tejpal's plea seeking quashing of charges framed against him, had told the bench that there was "ample material" warranting trial in the case.
Judge Kshama Joshi has said that the trial will be completed within the given time. "There is direction in the matter and it is the duty of the court to comply with it," she said.
Tarun Tejpal had been accused of sexual assault by a colleague at Tehelka, with the incident taking place in an elevator at a resort in Goa during an event in November 2013. The victim was reportedly sexually assaulted by Tejpal on November 7 and the offence was allegedly repeated on November 8, 2014. The case came in public attention and media scrutiny. He was arrested on 30 November 2013 and was kept in prison for a few months. He has been out on bail since May 2014.
In September last year, the district court framed charges against Tejpal. He was booked under various Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, including 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 350 (criminal force), 376 (rape) and 354(A) and (B) (sexually colored remarks and use of criminal force on woman).
(With PTI inputs)