HC dismisses Tejpal's plea to postpone rape case trial

Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal

The Bombay High Court in Goa on Friday dismissed rape accused and ex-Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal's plea to postpone the resumption of the rape trial.

The court stated that the survivor, who is currently in the UK, had made arrangements to visit India for the specific purpose of attending the hearing over three days from October 21, when she will be cross-examined by former editor's legal team.

In his plea, Tejpal had sought postponement of the trial's resumption to December, claiming that his lawyer was unwell and would be unable to attend the hearings spread over three days.

"In my considered view, in the given circumstances, where the prosecution witness has already made her travel arrangements to come down to India from UK from October 21 to 23 and further having regard to the direction of the Supreme Court for expeditious and time-bound disposal of the Sessions case, it is not possible for this Court to interfere with the dates and the program so fixed. The petition is accordingly dismissed," Justice CV Bhadang said in his order on Friday.

In 2013, Tejpal was accused of allegedly raping a colleague at a five-star resort in North Goa. He was subsequently chargesheeted under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.

Earlier this year, Tejpal had approached the Supreme Court, seeking a quashing of the charges framed against him by the trial court. In its order in August, the apex court had disposed Tejpal’s petition while directing the Goa court to complete the trial within six months.

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