A Goa court passed an order to frame charges on September 28 against Tehelka Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal, in connection with the rape case against him, Public Prosecutor Francis Tavora said on Thursday.
Briefing reporters outside the District and Sessions Court in Mapusa, Tavora said that all charges proposed by the police, including Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 376 (rape) of the IPC, had been endorsed by the court. An additional charge under Section 354 (b) (criminal assault with intent to disrobe) had also been added.
"Court has directed that all charges should be framed against him. 354 (b) has been added," he said.
On whether he was satisfied with the order, Tavora also said, “Well the court has considered all our arguments. The court has made reference to whatever precedence they could rely. We had to establish prima facie case and this is more than prima facie case.”
Tejpal's counsel Pramod Dubey said that the future course of action would be decided "once the order is examined".
Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague in an elevator at a five-star hotel during an event organised by Tehelka in November 2013 in Goa. He was subsequently arrested, and was granted bail in September 2014.
The chargesheet in the case was filed after a 79-day-long investigation, where 152 witnesses recorded their statements against Tejpal.
“There is sufficient evidence in the form of documents, statements and electronic records... to prove that on November 7, 2013, the victim was raped, sexually harassed, and her modesty outraged inside an elevator of a starred hotel at Bambolim, Goa,” the chargesheet read.
(With inputs from IANS)