The Supreme Court on Monday directed a Goa court to complete, within a year, the trial against Tehelka’s former editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, charged with raping a junior colleague in Goa in 2013.
A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan also sought response from Goa on Tejpal’s plea that there were inconsistencies in the statements recorded by the woman in the case but refused to stay the trial court’s proceedings pending in Goa against Tejpal.
“Let’s see what reply Goa will file,” it said.
The bench asked the petitioner’s counsel to give the copy of petition to the counsel appearing for the Goa government and posted the matter for further hearing on April 24.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Tejpal, said there were several inconsistencies in the video recordings and the statements of the woman recorded under section 164 of CrPC before the magistrate but the trial court has not considered them.
Tejpal had moved the apex court challenging an order of Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court which dismissed on December 20 last year Tejpal’s petition seeking quashing of rape and other charges.
The trial court in Mapusa town earlier framed charges against Tejpal under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Tejpal faces charges under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 376 (rape) of the IPC — endorsed by the court — while an additional Section 354 (b) (criminal assault with intent to disrobe) had been added.
He is alleged to have sexually assaulted his then colleague inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013.