Goa government to move high court against Tarun Tejpal's acquittal in 2013 sexual assault case

  • Goa government to move High Court against Tarun Tejpal's acquittal in 2013 sexual assault case
Tarun Tejpal, the 50-year-old founder and editor-in-chief of India's leading investigative magazine Tehelka, speaks with the media upon his arrival at the airport on his way to Goa, in New Delhi in this file photo from 2013. (REUTERS)
Tarun Tejpal, the 50-year-old founder and editor-in-chief of India's leading investigative magazine Tehelka, speaks with the media upon his arrival at the airport on his way to Goa, in New Delhi in this file photo from 2013. (REUTERS)
Published on May 21, 2021 01:30 PM IST
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By | Reported by Gerard de Souza, Hindustan Times, New Delhi/ Panaji

The Goa government on Friday said that it will move the high court against Tarun Tejpal's acquittal in 2013 sexual assault case. A sessions court on Friday acquitted the former Tehelka editor-in-chief who was accused of assaulting a former female colleague inside the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013 during the ThinkFest event organised by the magazine.

"This is a victory for everyone, especially for Adv Rajeev Gomes, his associates and Tarun Tejpal also. It is also special because of the hard work and efforts of my senior advocate Rajeev Gomes. He has been acquitted of all the sections that he was charged with," Tejpal's advocate Suhas Velip said to mediapersons present outside the court. Velip was representing Tejpal as Gomes had succumbed due to complications from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) last week.

The former scribe was charged with sections 376 (punishment for rape), 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (criminal assault with intent to disrobe a woman), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.

"In November 2013, I was falsely accused of sexual assault by a colleague. Today the Hon'ble trial court of additional sessions judge Kshama Joshi, in Goa, has honourably acquitted me. In an awfully vitiated age, where ordinary courage has become rare, I thank her for standing by the truth," Tejpal said in a brief statement after his acquittal. Additional sessions judge Kshama Joshi acquitted Tejpal, who was accompanied with his family members as well as family members of Rajeev Gomes.

"As a family we owe Rajiv Gomes a profound and permanent debt. And we grieve alongside his wife Cheryl and his young son Sean. No client can ever hope for a better lawyer than Rajiv. The ever-struggling wheel of justice has lost a solid spoke," Tejpal further added.

The trial against Tejpal began in 2017, four years after the incident occurred and the former scribe approached the high court and later the Supreme Court challenging the framing of charges and seeking his discharge in the case. The Supreme Court ordered that the trial must be completed by December 2020 but it encountered several delays. The court was to deliver the verdict on April 27 but it was adjourned several times due to the Cyclone Tauktae and Covid-19 pandemic.




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Monday, June 27, 2022