Tarun Tejpal Charged With Rape, Pleads Not Guilty Before Goa Court

Tarun Tejpal

Tejpal is indicted of sexually assaulting a junior woman colleague inside a lift at Hotel Grand Hyatt during an event organised by the Tehelka magazine, in Goa, in November. The charges against him include Sections 376 (2) F and 376 (2) K, which lay down stricter punishment for a person who uses a position of power or trust to abuse a woman.

Tejpal faces a minimum 10-year jail term if he is found guilty of rape.

On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court had refused to stay the framing of charges against Tejpal, and issued a notice to the Goa government seeking its response to the senior journalist's plea.

Earlier this week, the Bombay High Court had also rejected Tejpal's plea to stop the framing of charges till it decides on his petition to drop the case against him. The court has said that the trial will begin from November 21.

Tejpal's counsel Aman Lekhi, while challenging the 7 September framing of charges process, had said that the accusations of rape were false and that the prosecution had delayed handing over the evidence to him by three years.

"We now wait for the matter which is in the high court", said Tavera.

On Thursday, the Goa court framed and explained the charges on Tarun Tejpal. "It's a little dragging but we are positive", he said.

"The matter can not be delayed much as already a lot of delay has happened". As per the Supreme Court guidelines, we have to go ahead with the trial within 8 months of the accused being given bail. The charges framed by the court were of rape, sexual harrasement and wrongful restraint. "Therefore the court went ahead with its proceedings", he added.

Advocate Rajeev Gomes initially asked for stay in framing charges, and a date in December for submitting the status report of the High Court, though the trial court said the matter does not merit any further delay, and a stay is not possible as the High Court hasn't ordered an stay in framing of charges.

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