The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked a Goa court which is hearing the 2013 rape case against Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal to go ahead with the recording of evidence of witnesses.
The direction came from a bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao which was hearing a plea against an order of the Goa bench of Bombay High Court, deferring the examination of witnesses in the matter till it decides a petition filed by the senior journalist challenging the case against him. The apex court also asked the high court to decide on Tejpal’s plea within three months.
“We consider it appropriate that the high court may dispose of the criminal revision petition… pending before it as early as possible and in any case not later than three months from today,” it said. “We make it clear that in the meanwhile, there shall be no stay of trial and witnesses may be examined in accordance with the law,” the bench added.
Tejpal’s lawyers contended that he had not delayed the case and there were 151 prosecution witnesses. They also claimed that the police had withheld the footage of the CCTV camera which was installed in the corridor outside the lift of the hotel where Tejpal was seen with the victim. The bench observed that it had earlier said the trial should be completed within a year but nothing had been done.