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The Bombay High Court bench in Goa on Friday dismissed a petition filed by former Tehelka editor-in-chief and rape accused Tarun Tejpal, who had sought to postpone the cross-examination of the victim scheduled for next week, because of the non-availability of his lawyer.

Hearing Tejpal’s plea challenging an order of a trial court, which earlier this month had scheduled the hearing over three days starting from October 21, Justice C.V. Bhadang on Friday, dismissed the petition paving way for the hearing to be held as scheduled.

“The High Court dismissed the plea,” public prosecutor S. Rivankar told reporters in Panaji.

In his plea, Tejpal had sought postponement of the hearing till December, claiming his lawyer was not available for the next two months.

When the trial resumes on October 21, the victim is expected to be cross-examined by Tejpal’s defence team.

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 Court. The apex court, while disposing of his plea in August this year, had directed the lower court to complete the trial within six months.

Tejpal is charged with several sections of IPC for sexually assaulting a junior colleague inside a lift of a resort hotel in Goa during the magazine’s event on 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.

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