Panaji: A Goa court on Thursday framed charges against journalist Tarun Tejpal, who is accused of sexually assaulting and raping a former woman colleague in 2013.
Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, was charged with rape, sexual harassment and wrongful restraint.
The former journalist pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial in the case will begin from November 21.
District Judge Vijaya Pol framed charges against Tejpal under IPC sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 354 A (sexual harrassment) and B (criminal assault with intent to disrobe a woman), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement), public prosecutor Fransisco Tavora told reporters.
The lawyer representing Tejpal pleaded before the Mapusa court in Goa to put the trial on hold as a petition challenging the framing of charges is already pending before the Bombay High Court at Goa. But the attempt to stall the trial failed as the judge rejected the plea.
Tejpal had moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday after the court in Goa refused to drop the charges. The HC also refused to stay the framing of the charges against the journalist.
The HC, however, had said if the district court frames charges against Tejpal, the recording of evidence, which marks the beginning of the trial, should be deferred.
Tejpal had sought a stay on framing of charges against him till the time the HC has decided his plea on dropping the charges. He has contended there was a lack of evidence against him in the case. The court had barred the media from covering the proceedings.
Tejpal is accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague inside a lift at a five-star hotel in Goa during an event in 2013, triggering a massive public outrage.