After the High Court refused to stay the framing of charges against former Tehelka magazine editor Tarun Tejpal, a court in Goa has started trial proceedings against him in the alleged rape case. The court has charged Tejpal with various crimes such as 354-A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 376 (rape), 376(2)(k) IPC (rape of a woman by a person being in position of control or dominance over the woman). The other charges include sections 341 and 342 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 376 (2) (f) (person in position of trust or authority over women, committing rape of such women) and 376C IPC (sexual intercourse by person in authority) and Section 354 IPC.
This is the first time in the history of Goa that a person of prominence and authority has been booked on charges of rape. However, Tejpal has pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against him. In his defense, Tejpal has filed another application with the High Court, saying that the lower court has acted over and above its jurisdiction. The application says that the trial against him is not justified. The High Court will hear Tejpal’s application on November 1. However, till that time, the Goa court has already framed charges against him. The case has been dragging on since around 3 years, even when the Supreme Court had earlier directed that the case should be finalized within 8 months. The Goa crime branch had chargesheeted Tejpal way back in February 2014.