Tehelka’s former editor- in-chief Tarun Tejpal is accused of raping a woman colleague during an event in Goa in 2013.
The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court today dismissed Tehelka magazine’s former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal’s petition challenging his trial in a rape case against him.
“Former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal’s petition challenging trial in rape case against him has been dismissed by the Panaji bench of Bombay High Court,” Public Prosecutor Francisco Tavora told news agency ANI.
“We now have to report this order to the trial court on January 9. The trial court will then summon the witnesses only after January 9. This plea was dismissed on the merits of the petition. The court will begin the trial against him, as Supreme Court had already directed that,” Francis Tavora said.
The detailed order is expected to be pronounced later in the day.
The district court in Mapusa town had earlier framed charges against Tejpal under IPC sections 354-A (sexual harassment), 376 (rape) and 376(2)(k) (rape of a woman by a person being in tge position of control or dominance over the woman), and initiated a trial last month.
The crime branch later added to the case IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (2) (f) (person in the position of trust or authority over women, committing rape of such women), 376 C (sexual intercourse by person in authority) and 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
“The detailed copy of the order, by which our petition has been dismissed, is not with us so we are not able to know on which ground it was rejected,” said lawyer Pramodkumar Dubey, who represented Tejpal in the high court.
Senior lawyer Aman Lekhi, who argued on behalf of Tejpal in the high court on December 12, had then presented before it CCTV footage of the area outside the lift of a five-star hotel, where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman.
Public prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar earlier said the trial court (district court) had come to the conclusion that a “primary case” had been made out as charges had been framed.
He said the charges against the accused should not be dismissed without a trial in the case
Tejpal is accused of raping a former female colleague during an event in Goa in 2013. Last week, he had presented before the court the CCTV footage outside the lift of a five-star hotel, where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted her.
“The CCTV footage shows that the petitioner and the prosecutrix (victim) were out of the lift walking leisurely not indicating any sign of distress or outrage,” senior advocate Aman Lekhi, who represented Tejpal, said.
Tejpal has been charged under under 354-A (sexual harassment), 376 (rape), 376(2)(k) IPC (rape of a woman by a person being in position of control or dominance over the woman).
The Goa trial court had in September this year framed charges of alleged rape and wrongful confinement against Tejpal in the case filed 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.