Panaji: The Supreme Court on Monday granted interim bail to journalist Tarun Tejpal, who is in a Goa jail charged with rape and sexual assault, to attend his mother Shakuntala Tejpal’s funeral.

An apex court bench of justices B.S. Chauhan and A.K. Sikri granted three weeks’ bail to Tejpal, founding editor of Tehelka magazine.

“Tejpal’s mother expired yesterday (Sunday). Today, we moved the court seeking interim bail so that Tejpal, the eldest son, could perform the cremation and last rites. The court heard the matter in a chamber. State of Goa’s counsels were also heard. Then the bench granted three weeks’ interim bail," said Sandeep Kapoor, Tejpal’s legal counsel.

Shakuntala Tejpal, 87, was suffering from brain tumour and died in Goa on Sunday. His family could not be reached for a comment immediately.

In November, Tejpal stepped down as editor of Tehelka for six months, taking responsibility for what former managing editor Shoma Chaudhury termed as an “untoward incident" for which he extended an unconditional apology to his junior colleague.

Following the incident the Goa Police filed a case of rape and outrage of modesty against Tejpal in a first information report—an initial police complaint that’s a prerequisite for the launch of a formal investigation.

Tejpal has been in custody in Goa since 30 November, when a judge rejected his bail petition.

Tejpal, who founded Tehelka in March 2000, was charged with rape and sexual assault in February by the Goa Police.