The Supreme Court on Monday quashed a plea filed by Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal, accused in a sexual assault case of 2013. The apex court has asked a Goa court to finish the trial within six months.
The Supreme Court, while hearing Tejpal’s plea, said that sexual assault is a very serious offence and morally abhorrent case and since the charges were framed six years back, there can be no further delay.
The court refused to give any relief to Tarun Tejpal.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra asked Goa’s lower court to complete the trial preferably within six months in the case against Tejpal.
In September 2017, a trial court in Goa charged him under Sections 376(2) (rape), 354A (sexual harassment) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He has been out on bail since May 2014.
The court had on August 6 reserved its order on Tejpal’s plea.
The Goa police had claimed that there were “contemporaneous” WhatsApp messages and e-mails which showed that the Tehelka magazine founder should face trial in the case.
The police, while opposing Tejpal’s plea seeking quashing of charges framed against him, had told the court that there was “ample material” warranting trial in the case.
Tejpal had moved the apex court, challenging the Bombay high court’s December 20, 2017, order dismissing his plea seeking quashing of charges.
Earlier, he had claimed that there were inconsistencies in the video recordings and the statements of the victim recorded under section 164 of CrPC before the magistrate.
A Goa court will resume trial from September 23 against Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal in a sexual assault case lodged by his former woman colleague.
North Goa district judge Vijaya Pol fixed September 23 as the next date of hearing after the Supreme Court dismissed Tejpal’s plea seeking quashing of charges framed against him.
A woman colleague had accused the high profile journalist of rape and sexual harassment in a sensational case in 2013.
The incident took place during the Think festival that was being hosted by Tehelka at a five-star hotel in Goa’s Bambolim in 2013 when the junior colleague was allegedly assaulted by Tarun Tejpal inside a lift.
Tejpal was arrested on November 30, 2013 by the crime branch after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court.