PANAJI: The Bombay High Court's Goa bench on Tuesday directed a trial court to defer the cross-examination of the victim in the rape case involving former Tehelka Editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal till the first week of February.
The HC directive follows a petition filed by the victim, in which she said that she was subjected to irrelevant and scandalous questions by Tejpal's lawyers, in course of cross-examination during the trial at the District and Sessions court in Mapusa in North Goa.
The victim also prayed in her petition to restrain the defence lawyers from asking such questions during the cross-examination.
According to the victim's counsel Saresh Lotlikar, the victim was currently employed abroad and would be available in court only in the first week of February.
The HC also directed the prosecution and defence lawyers to be present in the court on January 16 and place their arguments on record vis-a-vis the nature of questions to be asked during the cross-examination.
Charged with sexually assaulting his junior colleague inside an elevator of a resort hotel in Goa during an event organised by the magazine in November 2013, Tejpal has been booked under Sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code.
The trial, which began in September 2017, was delayed after Tejpal, appealed to the Supreme Court pleading quashing of the charges framed against him by the trial court. The apex court, while disposing of his plea in August last year, had directed the lower court to complete the trial within six months.