New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday rejected journalist Tarun Tejpal’s plea for setting aside the charges of sexual assault framed against him by a trial court. A Bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, also ordered the Goa lower court to conclude the trial within six months.
The top court said sexual assault was a serious and morally abhorrent offence and there couldn’t be any further delay as the case was six-year old.
The Additional District and Sessions court in Mapusa (Goa) will resume hearing in the rape case against Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, on September 23.
The in-camera trial started in March 2018 and the media has been debarred from reporting it.
A former woman colleague had accused Tejpal of rape during the ThinkFest, a conference organised by the Tehelka founder in Goa, in 2013. He has been out on bail since May 2014. In September 2017, a trial court in Goa charged him under Sections 376(2) (rape), 354A (sexual harassment) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Tejpal had moved the top court challenging the trial court order, which had framed the charges dealing with rape and wrongful confinement against him. He has pleaded not guilty and claimed innocence.