Panaji: The Bombay High Court bench in Goa on Thursday directed a trial court to not cross-examine the victim in the rape case filed against Tarun Tejpal, until it hears and resolves a petition filed by the victim accusing the former Tehelka editor-in-chief’s lawyers of asking questions which are scandalous in nature and in contravention of the law.
After hearing a petition filed by the victim and arguments put forth by both sets of lawyers, the High Court on Thursday also fixed the next hearing for February 4. The hearing be held in-camera and during which the victim’s lawyer is expected to present the “humiliating” questions put to the victim by Tejpal’s lawyers in the trial court.
Justice Nutan Sardesai also directed the lower court to continue to examine other witnesses connected to the rape case.
Tejpal is charged with several sections of the Indian Penal Code for sexually assaulting his junior colleague inside an elevator of a resort hotel in Goa during an event organised by the magazine in November 2013.
Tejpal has been booked under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.
The trial, which began in September 2017, was delayed after Tejpal appealed to the Supreme Court pleading quashing of the charges framed against him by the court. The apex court, while disposing his plea in August last year, had directed the lower court to complete the trial within six months.