Former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal, charged with sexually assaulting his junior colleague during an event in Goa, was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
A Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and S.A. Bobde reasoned that Mr. Tejpal had spent six months in jail since his arrest on November 30 last year.
Justice Dattu observed that there was no need for Mr. Tejpal’s continued incarceration as a charge sheet was filed on February 17.
Justice Dattu, the lead judge on the Bench, said Mr. Tejpal was an accused not yet convicted of a crime and had every right to a fair trial, which included liberty to freely interact with lawyers to work up a good defence.
This he could not do if he continued to be in jail, he said.
Additional Solicitor-General Niraj Kishan Kaul, who represented the Goa police, pointed out that the concept of free trial applied to victims also.
Mr. Kaul argued that there was “reasonable apprehension” that the accused would continue to “traumatise” the young victim and her family to turn the case in his favour.