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Judiciary

Bombay High Court postpones appeal against Tarun Tejpal's acquittal until August 10

By Saakshi S. Rawat      03 August, 2021 06:08 PM      0 Comments
Bombay High Court tarun tejpal acquittal

The hearing on the state government's appeal against journalist Tarun Tejpal's discharge in a rape case was extended until August 10 by the Bombay High Court's Goa bench on July 29th (Thursday).

Following Tejpal's lawyer Amit Desai told the court that his instructing attorney Ankur Chawla had personal tragedy and that some materials had still to be given, a division bench consisting of Justice MS Sonak and Justice MS Jawalkar postponed the hearing.

The state was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and State Advocate General Devidas Pangam.

Mr Pangam urged that the hearing be held before August 17, because the court may start physical sessions after August 15, and Mr Mehta may not be available.

The matter was delayed until August 10 by the bench, who clarified that no decision has been taken concerning physical hearings.

Tejpal was acquitted of charges of sexually abusing a former female coworker inside the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013 by a Goa sessions court on May 21, 2021.

Backstory:

In the year 2013, a youthful Tehelka writer accused Tarun Tejpal, the magazine's owner and editor-in-chief, of sexually assaulting her in the elevator of a hotel in Goa on two occasions, on November 7 and 8, 2013. On November 18, 2013, she lodged a complaint with Shoma Chaudhury, the magazine's managing editor, requesting the establishment of a sexual harassment squad to investigate. The case was taken up by the Goa police on their own initiative, and criminal procedures were begun.

The trial in this sensational case ended with Tejpal being cleared on all charges after more than seven years, under Sections 376 [rape], 354 [assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty], 354A [sexual harassment], 354B [assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe], 341 and 342 [wrongful confinement] of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr. Tejpal was detained on November 30, 2013, and seven months later, on July 1, 2014, he was granted bail. On September 7, 2017, the fast-track court trial finally began after nearly four years. The case is one of the first to be heard under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, which broadens the legal definitions of rape and the circumstances in which permission is provided.

After observing that a trial court in Goa had finished the trial by giving an acquittal judgement in the sexual assault case against Tehelka magazine founder Tarun Tejpal, the Supreme Court of India, dismissed the matter relating to time extension on Monday, June 28, 2021.

Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of the Tehelka magazine, was acquitted on May 21 by a trial court in Mapusa, Goa, in the case where he was accused of sexually assaulting his then-woman colleague in a lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013 when they were attending an event. In this case, the State has also filed an appeal.



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