In a huge setback to Tarun Tejpal, the High Court of Bombay at Goa on Friday dismissed the petition filed by the former founder editor of Tehelka seeking postponement of trial in the alleged rape case against him. Tejpal in his plea had asked that his trial be postponed until the plea before Bombay High Court was decided in finality. The trial will go on as per the Mapusa court's schedule.
A Goa Court on October 7 had adjourned till October 21 the trial against Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal in a sexual assault case lodged by his former woman colleague, after the victim failed to attend the hearing. The additional district and sessions court at Mapusa will continue hearing on October 21, 22 and 23, when the victim would be cross-examined by Tejpal''s counsel, special public prosecutor Francisco Tavora told reporters. A Supreme Court bench in August asked the Goa court to complete the trial in the case, preferably within six months, and refused Tejpal''s plea to quash the First Information Report (FIR) filed against him.
Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted the complainant inside an elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013. He has denied the allegations levelled against him. Tejpal was arrested on November 30, 2013 by the crime branch after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court. He has been out on bail since May 2014.
In September 2018, 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 coloured remarks and use of criminal force on woman). He had earlier also moved the Bombay High Court, seeking a stay on framing of charges against him, but his petition was dismissed.
(With PTI inputs)