A Goa session court on Wednesday adjourned the verdict till Friday in the sexual assault case filed against journalist Tarun Tejpal, reported ANI. The court was expected to pronounce its verdict on Wednesday. Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, is accused of raping a junior colleague in an elevator in 2013.
Advocate Suhas Velip, who is representing Tejpal, said that the matter was adjourned because the additional sessions court judge at Mapusa could not work as there was no electricity for the last 2-3 days. Velip added that the judge needed more time.
The court had earlier deferred the verdict on May 12, citing the lack of staff because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before that, the ruling was deferred on April 27.
Tejpal has been out on bail since 2014.
A trial court in Goa had charged Tejpal with rape, sexual harassment and wrongful restraint in September 2017. He had pleaded not guilty. But in an internal email, Tejpal had blamed the incident on a “lapse of judgement”.
The Goa Police had filed a chargesheet in the case in 2014.
He was charged under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 376(2)(f) (person in position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376(2) (k) (rape by person in position of control) of the Indian Penal Code.
The trial began in September 2017 but was delayed repeatedly as Tejpal moved the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court against the allegations. Both the Supreme Court and the High Court had dismissed his petitions seeking to quash the rape charges against him.