Goa High court rejects Tarun Tejpal’s plea for quashing of rape charge

Panaji, Dec 21 (TOI): The high court of Bombay at Goa, on Wednesday, rejected former Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal's petition seeking dismissal of charges against him in the alleged 2013 rape case. The high court also rejected his argument questioning the survivor's action in following him after she exited the elevator of the starred hotel where the incident occurred.

The order paves the way for continuation of trial against Tejpal in the four-year-old case in the sessions court, which had framed the charges against Tejpal in September.

Justice Nutan Sardessai, in the 27-page order, said that the CCTV footage does not capture the victim's facial expressions, but only shows her movement into and out of the elevator. The footage does not indicate that she was either humiliated, traumatized or adversely impacted by the alleged misconduct of the applicant while in the elevator, Sardessai said.

The court said that Tejpal's argument comparing the victim's behaviour in the CCTV footage and her statement before the police does not advance his case at this stage to seek discharge from the trial.

Tejpal's lawyer Aman Lekhi had contended that the survivor had followed Tejpal after the alleged incident. He had submitted CCTV footage to support his argument and raised doubt about the victim's conduct.

Referring to the apology given by Tejpal for the alleged offence, the court said that there was "plausibly no reason why at all such an apology" was made by the applicant at the time when there was no offence registered against him.

The informal apology, according to police, was tendered on November 19, 2013.

Special public prosecutor Francisco Tavora said that the prosecution will inform the trial court on January 12, 2018, about dismissal of Tejpal's plea and seek a date for further hearing in the case.

In September, the trial court in Mapusa framed charges against Tejpal under Sections 354 (assaulting or using criminal force on a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (outraging modesty), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrong confinement), 376 (rape), 376(2) (f) (person in position of trust or authority over women, committing rape of such women) and 376(2) (k) (rape of a woman by a person being in position of control or dominance over the woman).

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Title : Goa High court rejects Tarun Tejpal’s plea for quashing of rape charge


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