SC stays Tarun Tejpal's trial in sexual assault case by three weeks

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal's trial by three weeks in a sexual assault case.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal's trial by three weeks in a sexual assault case.

Tejpal had approached the apex court challenging a Goa session court order to proceed for arguments on charge against him in the alleged sexual assault case without providing him the necessary documents.

The plea was today heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu.

The appeal contended that the sessions court, while passing the December 23, 2014 order, was conscious of the “recklessness” shown by the prosecution to uphold statutory requirements that are obligatory to provide all necessary documents.

It also claimed that the prosecution had deviated from procedure and failed to appreciate that speedy trial was barely a facet of fair trial.

The petition alleged that the court had not reprimanded the prosecution for its “deliberate non-compliance, for deviating from the statutory mandates” to the detriment of the petitioner and his right to fair trial.

“That the petitioner has established a good prima facie case on merits and the balance of convenience tilts overwhelmingly in favour of the petitioner. The impugned orders have been passed by the trial court without consideration of the cardinal principle of law.

“Therefore, it is just, proper and expedient that the interim relief as prayed for may kindly be granted in favour of the petitioner. Grave and irreparable harm and injury would be caused to the petitioner, in case interim orders as prayed for, are not granted,” the plea said.

The Tehelka chief had sought stay of the operation of the December 23 order of last year passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Mapusa, Goa who will go ahead with arguments on framing of charges.

Tejpal was chargesheeted for allegedly raping, sexually harassing and outraging the modesty of a junior colleague during an event at a Goa hotel in November 2013.

He was arrested on November 30, 2013 and is presently out on interim bail.

He has been accused of sexually assaulting the victim on November 7 and repeating the offence the next day.

Before being released on interim bail, he was lodged at Sada sub-jail in Goa’s Vasco town.

(With PTI inputs)

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