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Bombay HC reserves order on Tarun Tejpal’s petition

Tarun Tejpal  

The Bombay High Court at Goa on Tuesday reserved its order after hearing a petition filed by former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, who has been chargesheeted for alleged rape and other charges in a case involving a junior female colleague, at a Goa resort in November 2013.

Justice Nutan Sardesai reserved her order after she heard arguments from special public prosecutor (PP) Sarvesh Lotlikar who pleaded for the trial to begin. No date has been specified for the order.

Defence lawyers Aman Lekhi and Pramodkumar Dubey argued that the CCTV footage obtained from cameras at the five star hotel where the offence occurred, showed that the accusations against Tejpal were false, citing the lack of distress in the body language of the victim, as she, along with Tejpal, stepped out of the elevator, where the offence is alleged to have occurred.

Tejpal has been charged under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) and the same have been endorsed by the court, while an additional Section 354 (b) (criminal assault with intent to disrobe) had been added.

Tejpal is accused of sexually assaulting consecutively for two days a junior female colleague in the elevator of a hotel in north Goa during an event of Tehelka group, in November 2013.

He was arrested subsequently but is now out on bail.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, defence lawyers also dismissed as “hearsay”, accounts of friends and family members of the victim, who she had confided in about the alleged rape by Tejpal. They argued that while rape was a “heinous crime”, slandering the reputation of a married man with two children by false allegation was “equally important issue”.

The prosecution requested the Court to allow the trial to begin at the earliest.

“Let the victim come to explain her conduct. Precisely for that, I appeal that a trial should take place. It is far fetched to discount her statement at this stage,” PP Lotlikar said.

On December 6, the Supreme Court asked the additional District and Sessions court in North Goa to go ahead with the trial, even as Tejpal’s lawyers had appealed to the High Court seeking stay on the same

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 9:04:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bombay-hc-reserves-order-on-tarun-tejpals-petition/article21533333.ece

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