Tarun Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, is set to be slapped with nine charges, five of which were of rape including sections introduced following amendments to the IPC, on September 28.
The Goa High Court on Tuesday upheld Mapusa sessions court order to move ahead with framing of charges against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal but asked the court to refrain from starting the trial till the court’s direction. Giving relief to Tejpal, the bench said that no examination of first witness will be done till the High Court directs to do the same.
The sessions court on September 7 had directed the framing of all rape charges against Tejpal. The former Tehelka chief is set to be slapped with nine charges, five of which were of rape including sections introduced following amendments to the IPC, on September 28. He is accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague inside an elevator of Hotel Grand Hyatt in Goa on the night of November 7, 2013.
In his primary appeal, Tejpal had said that the charges of rape against him are false. He had further said that the state is delaying and has taken 3 years to hand over the evidence. The prosecution, in its reply, said the trial should decide whether he is guilty or innocent.
Tejpal, initially, was charged under 354-A (sexual harassment and punishment for 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) by the Crime Branch. He was later charged with Sections 341 and 342 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 376 (2)(f) (person in position of trust or authority over women, committing rape of such women), 376C (sexual intercourse by person in authority) and 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
During the trial, which carried out for three years, the defence claimed material evidence. The prosecution had asked for an addition IPC section of 354b in June this year. The charges will be officially framed against Tejpal at 2:30 pm on September 28. He will stand for trial only after the framing of charges.