New Delhi, April 21: The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the Goa government on the bail plea by Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal, currently in jail for the alleged rape and sexual harassment of a junior woman colleague in Goa.
Tejpal is in jail since Nov 30, 2013.
The bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N.V. Ramana issued notice as counsel Harish Salve urged the court to give Tejpal an interim bail and said he would not leave Goa without the trial court’s consent.
Salve said this as he sought to allay the apprehension that upon his release, Tejpal would come to Delhi.
“There are concerns that he will get interim bail and come to Delhi. I can assure (the court) that he (Tejpal) will stay in Goa and would not leave without the permission of the court,” Salve told the court.
The notice is returnable in four weeks.
At the outset of the hearing, Chief Justice Sathasivam inquired what was the stage of the trial.
Salve informed the court that a charge sheet in the case has already been filed. There were 152 witnesses which may take a long time and hence Tejpal should be released on interim bail.
Tejpal is accused of twice sexually assaulting a junior woman journalist colleague Nov 7 and 8 at a five-star hotel in Goa during an event organised by the magazine.
Goa Police issued a non-bailable warrant and arrested him Nov 30 after the Delhi High Court refused him anticipatory bail.
The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court also denied him bail March 14 and again April 10 even as a charge sheet was filed against him.
He was charged Feb 18 with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a junior colleague.
Tejpal stepped down as editor-in-chief of the magazine for six months after the woman colleague accused him of sexual assault.