Tehelka Sexual Assault Case delayed further

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Tarun Tejpal

Tehelka Sexual Assault case has resurfaced the news again. Tarun Tejpal is a well-known name in the field of journalism and publishing. He is the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine who had to step down in November 2013 for six months from his post, after a female college alleged a case of sexual assault against him. He apologized to his entire staff and called it to be ‘a bad lapse of judgment’. The case is that of alleged sexual assault of the complainant inside an elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013. He has been in complete denial of the allegations and said them to be false and implicating. There has been huge public outrage in the said case demanding justice for the victim.

Tejpal has been a renowned figure even before the launch of Tehelka in 2000. He has previously been engaged with The Indian Express and India Today groups. He was briefly the managing editor of Outlook magazine before founding Tehelka in 2000. He is a known novelist and has penned down two novels so far, The Alchemy of Desire and The Story of My Assassins.

Timeline of Tehelka Sexual Assault Case:

In the said case, he was arrested on November 30, 2013, after the court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail. Thereafter, he was granted bail by a court in Goa in July 2014. The case has been pending since then. A Justice Arun Mishra headed bench in the apex court, had previously ordered the trial court in the state of Goa to conclude the trial within six months, as there has been a long inordinate delay in concluding the trial considering that the FIR was lodged in 2013. Supreme Court then rejected his plea to quash the FIR filed against him. His lawyer contended that the allegations against Tejpal were tailor-made not backed by any evidence and thus has no truth in it. However, the court decided the matter on the fact that nearly six years ago, he had sent a letter of atonement to his staff apologizing for a ‘bad lapse of judgment’. It is alleged that it was right after the said incident that he had circulated that email apology. Supreme Court also opined that the charges were severe in nature and amounted to an attack on privacy.

Charges were framed against him in September 2018, booking him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including provisions pertaining to wrongful restraint, criminal force, and rape. In the said pending litigation, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the State of Goa while Tejpal was being represented by senior lawyer Vikas Singh.

Hearing of the case adjourned due to the absence of complainant: 

Recently on October 21, a Goa court adjourned his case of sexual assault as the complainant, who is a former colleague of Tejpal, failed to attend the hearing. The court is ongoing at the additional district and session’s court at Mapusa post the scheduled cross-examination of the complainant by lawyer Vikas Singh, and special public prosecutor Francisco Tavora told reporters.

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