Court Bars Media From Covering Tarun Tejpal’s Trial

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Panaji: A Goa court on Friday barred the media from covering the trial of senior journalist Tarun Tejpal, who is facing charges of rape, a defence lawyer said.

Tejpal, who is out on bail, today attended the court in Mapusa which is hearing arguments before the framing of charges, a stage before the start of trial. A woman journalist working with Tehelka magazine, of which Tejpal was editor-in-chief, had accused him of raping her during an event in Goa in 2013.

Tejpal’s lawyers had filed an application under section 327 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code (which provides for in-camera trial of rape cases) seeking to bar the media from covering the trial. Judge Vijaya Pol today allowed the application. As a result, all reporters were asked to leave the courtroom.

The media will not be allowed to cover the proceedings hereafter, said advocate Raju Gomes who is a part of Tejpal’s defence team. Arguments on framing of charges would continue tomorrow.

Goa crime branch had filed charge sheet in the case in 2014. Tejpal, a high-profile journalist, has been charged under IPC sections 354-A (sexual harassment), 341 and 342 (wrongful restraint) and 376 (rape), among others.