A Sessions Court in Goa on Wednesday deferred its judgment in the sexual assault case against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal to May 21.
The Goa crime branch had filed a charge sheet against Tejpal. He faced trial under sections 341, 342, 354, 354-A, 354-B, 376(2)(f) and 376(2)(k) IPC.
The verdict was scheduled to be pronounced on May 12 but had been adjourned till May 19 due to a shortage of staff in view of the Covid-19 crisis. Now the verdict has been deferred again till May 21.
This is the third time that the judge in Goa trial Court has deferred pronouncement of the verdict in Tarun Tejpal case.
Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting a woman colleague inside the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa during an event in November 2013. Arrested on November 30, 2013, Tejpal was later released on bail and had denied the allegations.
The Additional District Court was to pronounce the verdict on April 27, but judge Kshama Joshi then adjourned the verdict to May 12. The Court had then said it will pronounce the verdict on May 19. However, it has again been adjourned.
The Petitioner Advocate said that the reason (for the adjournment) is that there was no electricity for the last 2-3 days and she (judge) could not work on it. So she requires time. So she has fixed the matter for May 21, final order will be pronounced.
The Goa Police had registered an FIR against Tejpal in November 2013 following which he was arrested. He has been out on bail since May 2014.
Earlier, the journalist had moved the Bombay High Court, seeking a stay on the framing of charges against him, but his petition was dismissed.