The Bombay High Court at Goa has reserved its order in a writ petition filed by former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, Tarun Tejpal.
Justice Nutan Sardessai reserved the order after hearing both the petitioner and the prosecution in the case. While senior advocate Aman Lekhi appeared for Tejpal, public prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar argued against the quashing for FIR.
Tejpal was accused of sexual assault by a former junior colleague. She alleged that Tejpal assaulted her in the elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013. He was arrested thereafter and is currently on bail.
Framing of charges in the case took place and the district court in Mapusa (trial court) charged Tejpal under Section 354-A, 376, 376(2)(k) of the Indian Penal Code.
The crime branch in its charge sheet added sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (2) (f) (person in position of trust or authority over women, committing rape of such women), 376 C (sexual intercourse by person in authority) and section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
Submissions and Order
Tejpal’s counsel Aman Lekhi played a CCTV footage of Tejpal and the victim coming out of the said elevator in which Tejpal allegedly assaulted her. He argued that both the accused and the victim seem to be walking out of the elevator leisurely and their behaviour did not seem to indicate that any sexual assault took place.
Lekhi also argued that charges were framed against his client without duly examining the evidence.
Public prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar argued that since charges have already been framed in the case, FIR should not be quashed without a trial.
The court decided to reserve the order, but no specific date has been allotted.