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The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the petition by journalist Tarun Tejpal for quashing the charges of sexual assault levelled against him by a former female colleague at Tehelka magazine where both of them worked.

While rejecting his plea, the apex court said that the charges against the journalist were serious and “an assault on the privacy of the victim” and ordered the Goa court to complete the trial in six months as it had been delayed. Tarun Tejpal had petitioned the Supreme Court to set aside the rape charges against him by a trial court in Goa.

Tejpal, the founder-editor of Tehelka, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman employee during an event in Goa in 2013 organized by the newsmagazine. The young woman has accused the 52-year-old of assaulting her inside an elevator of the five-star hotel where the event took place.

In a 2,684-page chargesheet filed before the Goa fast-track court, the police said Tejpal assaulted the woman twice and that there was enough evidence against him. Tejpal countered saying that the allegations are false and part of “political vendetta” by the BJP government in Goa.

He had approached the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court in 2017 dismissed the same request.

—India Legal Bureau

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