The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked a Goa court to go ahead with the trial of the founding editor of Tehelka magazine Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexual assault on his junior woman colleague in a Goa hotel in November 2013.
Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting his colleague in a five-star hotel on November 7-8, 2013 during a “ThinkFest” event organised by the magazine in Goa.
Asking the trial court to proceed with the examination of witnesses, the bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao, however, restrained the court from pronouncing its verdict till the Bombay High Court decided on Tejpal’s plea challenging the charges framed against him.
The court on Wednesday noted that by its order of May 15, 2015, the trial court was given one year’s time to complete the trial but nothing had happened.
The trial court had moved the top court for extension of time.
The Supreme Court has given the Bombay High Court three months’ time to decide on the plea by the former Tehelka editor.
Tejpal had moved the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court challenging the framing of charges against him by the trial court.
The Panaji bench on September 26 refused to stay the framing of charges against Tejpal by the trial court and said it (trial court) would proceed with the trial only after a nod from it (the high court).
A day later, on September 28, the trial court framed charges against him under sections 376(2) (committing rape taking advantage of official position), 354 ‘A’ and ‘B’ (criminal force with intent to disrobe), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.
Tejpal pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Earlier, while granting bail to Tejpal on July 1, 2014, the top court had directed the trial court to complete the trial in eight months’ time and asked Tejpal to remain present on all days and not seek unnecessary adjournments.