The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the trial court hearing by three weeks in alleged sexual assault case involving Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal as accused and asked the prosecution to provide documents to him.
A bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and A K Sikri, however, expressed unhappiness over the fact that the trial proceedings have been stalled and asked the counsel for Tejpal to not delay it further and start advancing arguments on framing of charges in the case.
“Please argue on charge on the basis of available documents. In last eight months even charges have not been framed,” it said when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Tejpal, blamed prosecution for not supplying all relevant papers.
Referring to the earlier proceedings, the bench said that it was told that the trial proceedings will not be hampered.
“We should be little more careful while granting bail in such type of matters,” the court, which had earlier granted him the bail in the case, said.
Earlier, Tejpal had moved the Supreme Court challenging a Goa session court order to proceed with the arguments on charge against him in the case without allegedly providing him the necessary documents.
The appeal, filed by advocate Sandeep Kapur, contended that the session court while passing the December 23, 2014, order was conscious of the “recklessness” shown by the prosecution to uphold statutory requirements that are obligatory including providing all necessary documents.
The petition alleged that the court has not reprimanded the prosecution for its “deliberate non-compliance, for deviating from the statutory mandates” to the detriment of the petitioner and his right to fair trial.
Tejpal has been charge sheeted for allegedly raping, sexually harassing and outraging the modesty of a junior colleague during an event at a Goa hotel in November, 2013.
Tejpal, in his plea, had said that he had established a good prima facie case on merits and the balance of convenience tilts overwhelmingly in his favour. The impugned orders have been passed by the trial court without consideration of the cardinal principle of law, he contended.
The Tehelka chief had sought stay of the operation of the December 23 order of last year passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Mapusa, Goa who will go ahead with arguments on framing of charges.
Tejpal was arrested on November 30, 2013 and is out on bail.
Before being released on interim bail, he was lodged at Sada sub-jail in Goa’s Vasco town.