Tuesday 24 October 2017

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Society | Crime

Court frames rape charges against Tejpal, subject to HC order

 

After four years of the alleged rape incident had taken place, former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal has been charged by the court of raping his junior colleague in Goa in 2013.

Tejpal however has pleaded before the Mapusa court of not being guilty of the offences he is charged with.

The court would hear the case next on 21st  November, based on a status report of the high court hearing scheduled on 1st November.

Among several sections applied to him while framing the charges, the 54-year old journalist is charged of raping a woman by taking advantage of his official position as well as assault to woman with intent to disrobe her.

The alleged incident had taken place on 7th November 2013 at a five star resort in an elevator during the ThinkFest organised by Tehelka.

The allegation by the victim girl picked up a storm nationwide, compelling Tejpal to quit Tehelka while also tendering unconditional apology.

“The context that ill-fated evening, of our conversation, as you will recall, was heavily loaded. We were playfully and flirtatiously talking about desire, sex, in a frivolous, laughing mood and I had no idea that you (victim) were upset, or felt I had been even remotely non-consensual”, stated his email sent to the girl later.

Prosecution lawyer Adv Francis Tavora said the Mapusa court today rejected Tejpal’s argument that the high court had also ordered not to frame charges.

Later, Tejpal’s lawyer Adv Rajiv Gomes admitted that the high court had restrained the Mapusa court from hearing the major witnesses till further orders but framing of charges was allowed.

 

He also said the Mapusa court on 21st November would only hear the status report about the high court hearing scheduled on 1st November.

The trial in the Mapusa court may not happen if the high court upholds Tejpal’s contention that Mapusa court is not a competent authority.

CHARGES FRAMED

Following are the charges framed against Tejpal by the Mapusa court under sections of Indian Penal Code:

376 (2) (f): committed by a relative, guardian or teacher of or a person in a position of trust and authority towards the woman, commit rape on such a woman

376 (2) (k): being in the position of control or dominance over a woman, commits rape on such a woman

354 A: A man committing any of the following acts:

  1. physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; or
  2. a demand or request for sexual favours; or
  3. showing pornography against the will of a woman; or
  4. making sexually coloured remarks, shall be guilty of the offence of sexual harassment.

354 B: Any man who assaults or uses criminal force to any woman or abets such act with the intention of disrobing or compelling her to be naked

341: Wrongful restraint

342: wrongful confinement

 The main offences Tejpal is charged with are sections 376 (2) (f) and (k), for which the punishment is rigorous imprisonment for not less than 10 years to life imprisonment remainder of natural life.






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