India

India rape case editor Tarun Tejpal to meet ill mother

Indian magazine editor Tarun Tejpal (C) is escorted by police officials after a hearing at The High Court in Goa on March 4, 2014. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Tejpal (second from right) has denied all the charges

A court in India has allowed the former editor of a prominent news magazine who is charged with raping a female colleague to meet his ailing mother.

Tarun Tejpal, former editor of Tehelka, has been in prison since 30 November.

He has also been charged with "sexual harassment" and "outraging the modesty of a woman". He denies the charges.

Mr Tejpal's unnamed accuser has alleged that he assaulted her at an event organised by the magazine in Goa in November last year.

Legal experts say if found guilty, Mr Tejpal could be sentenced to at least seven years in jail.

In February, prosecutors filed charges, running to nearly 2,700 pages, in a court of Goa, which has repeatedly denied him bail.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported that a court in the state had allowed Mr Tejpal to visit his mother Shakuntala Tejpal, who is suffering from a brain tumour. She is receiving treatment in a hospital in Mapusa, about 50km (31 miles) from the prison where her son is being held.

Mr Tejpal's lawyer, Swapnil Nachinolkar, told the news agency that the 50-year-old journalist was likely to be escorted to the hospital on Saturday morning.

Separately, a court in the western city of Mumbai rejected a fresh bail plea by Mr Tejpal.

The scandal has dominated headlines in India, with critics accusing Tehelka magazine - one of India's top investigative titles, which has exposed gender inequality and officially-sanctioned misogyny - of hypocrisy and double standards.

The case has particular resonance because it comes amid a debate about attitudes to sexual violence in India after the brutal gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi in December 2012.

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