Goa court defers Tejpal rape case verdict to May 21

A fast track court in Mapusa town on Wednesday deferred its judgement in the rape case filed against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal to May 21, even as the North Goa town has been without electricity for the third day running, following heavy rain and stormy winds in the wake of the Cyclone Tauktae.

The judgement will now be delivered on May 21. Mapusa, in North Goa has been one of the worst hit areas by the cyclone and has been reeling without power and internet connectivity for three days running.

While the trial in the case has been completed, the judgement, which was originally scheduled to be pronounced on April 27, has been deferred on two occasions now.

The last time the hearing was adjourned was on account of a lockdown which was imposed in the state by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

Advocate Rajeev Gomes, who was Tejpal’s lead defence lawyer in the case, also died due to Covid-related complications last week.

The former editor-in-chief of the Tehelka investigative magazine has been accused by a junior colleague of sexually assaulting her at a five star resort in Goa.

Tejpal has been booked under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.