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SC rejects Tarun Tejpal’s plea to quash 2013 sexual assault case, says offence ‘morally abhorrent’

By Simran Kashyap

New Delhi, Aug 19: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to quash the charges against Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal in the case registered by his former junior colleague in 2013. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also ordered the Goa trial court to conclude the trial in six months.

SC dismisses Tarun Tejpal’s plea to quash 2013 sexual assault case, says offence ‘morally abhorrent’

Sexual harassment allegations: Editors Guild suspends memberships of MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal

The apex court while reading out the verdict, said that the offence against Tejpal is a very serious offence and morally abhorrent case and since the charges were framed six years back, there can be no further delay.

However, the court refused to give any relief to Tarun Tejpal.

On the last date of hearing in this matter, the top court had questioned Tejpal as to why he had apologised to the former colleague if the sexual assault charges against him were a sham.

The Goa Police had said that there are "contemporaneous" WhatsApp messages and e-mails which showed Tejpal, the founder and former editor of Tehelka magazine, should face trial in the case.

The police, while opposing Tejpal's plea seeking quashing of charges framed against him, had told the bench that there was "ample material" warranting trial in the case.

Tejpal's lawyer had refuted the allegations and told the bench that certain WhatsApp messages were concealed and referred to CCTV footage of the hotel where the alleged incident took place.

Rape case against Tarun Tejpal: SC adjourns matter for three weeks

Tejpal is alleged to have sexually assaulted the former colleague inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013.

He has denied all the allegations levelled against him. He was arrested on November 30, 2013 by the Crime Branch after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court. He has been out on bail since May 2014.

He has moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court's December 20, 2017 order dismissing his plea seeking quashing of charges.

A bench comprising justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai will deliver the judgement.

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