THE TARUN TEJPAL ACQUITTAL

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INTRODUCTION

A District and Sessions Court in Mapusa acquitted Tarun Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, in a Sexual Assault Court case on May 21, 2013. Tejpal was charged with sexual assault on a woman in a luxury hotel lift in Goa in November 2013. Tejpal, who was on bail at the time, denied any political retaliation and accused the then-BJP-led Goa government.

WHO IS TARUN TEJPAL?

Tarun Tejpal is a journalist as a profession and author who has worked for a variety of well-known media publications in the country. He is most known for co-founding the investigative magazine Tehelka in 2000 and served as its editor-in-chief. His writings include The Alchemy of Desire, My Assassins’ Story, and The Valley of Masks.

 

THE CASE AGAINST TARUN TEJPAL

  • In November 2013, Tejpal was accused of sexual assault by a woman in a fancy hotel elevator. The event took place at Tehelka’s Think Festival in a 5-star hotel in Bambolim, Goa.
  • Tejpal resigned as Tehelka’s chief editor a few days after the allegations were made public. The Goa Police Department, on the other hand, initiated an investigation and detained Tejpal on November 30. Bail was denied to him, and he was arrested and sent into the sub jail of Sada.
  • In accordance with IPC sections 354-A, 376 (rape), and 376 (2)(k), Tejpal was charged in Mapusa before a district court (rape of a woman by a person being in a position of control or dominance over the woman). Police then amended IPC sections 341 (inaccurate retention) and 342 (inaccurate confinement), 376(2)(f) (women in a position of confidence or authority, women rape), 376 C (women in authority sexual intercourse), and 354 police charges (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).Three months later, in February 2014, the Goa crime branches issued a 3000-page indictment against Tejpal, citing an email sent by Tejpal to Shoma Chaudhury, then a managing editor, as proof.
  • In 2014, Tejpal petitioned the Supreme Court for bail. He was released on bail in June 2014.
  • In 2017, he filed an appeal with the Bombay High Court, requesting that he be released from his rape charges, but the court rejected. A session court of a Goa Court was charged with rape, sexual harassment, and illegal detention under Sections 376(2) (rape), 354a (sexual harassment), and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • In 2019, the Supreme Court dismissed Tarun Tejpal’s plea, and a Goa court was ordered to complete the trial within six months.
  • It was supposed to be decided on April 27 this year, but due to coronavirus limitations, a court led by Justice Kshama Joshi postponed it till May 12. On Friday, May 21st, the verdict was finally handed down.

THE VERDICT

  • On May 21, 2013, a Goa court of sessions acquitted Mr. Tejpal of a sexual assault on a former female employee in a luxury hotel elevator in Goa.
  • Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi found him not guilty on all counts.
  • Mr. Tejpal’s acquittal would be challenged in the High Court, according to Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who believes there was sufficient evidence against him.
  • Mr. Tejpal issued a press statement praising the court and his counsel, one of whom died as a result of COVID-19. “Our defender Rajiv Gomes owes us a big and lasting debt as a family. The last seven and a half years have been a nightmare for my family as we dealt with the devastating effects of this false accusation in every aspect of our personal, professional, and public lives. In such a situation, we have strived to follow every decency rule”, he stated.
  • “I am grateful to the court for its thorough, unbiased, and fair trial, as well as its thorough investigation of the CCTV and other empirical data,” he said.
  • One of his primary methods of acquittal was the use of CCTV. Another was that the victim and her companions had a number of wills and draughts.
  • In cross-examination, the victim stated that he and the victim did not meet after the incident, but that she later wrote in the draft that she was bumped at her colleague and informed him that the attack occurred as soon as she exited the elevator.

CONCLUSION

Some believe that, rather than siding with the Goa administration, the High Court and the Supreme Court will agree on the court’s decisions. As we all know, the Investing Officer in this case has failed multiple times, has been penalized, and has also been dismissed by the Court in 2013.

As a result, it’s critical to remember that “100 criminal people fleeing is preferable than one innocent person suffering.”

Article By:Bhakti Khara

RFERENCES

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tarun-tejpal-acquittal-goa-moves-bombay-high-court/article34643716.ece
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tarun-tejpal-acquitted-in-sexual-harassment-case/article34611849.ece
  3. https://zeenews.india.com/photos/india/tarun-tejpal-acquitted-in-sexual-assault-case-after-seven-years-the-past-present-and-future-of-this-case-2363628/i-thank-court-for-its-rigorous-impart
  4. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/acquittal-tarun-tejpal-good-bad-ugly-hemant-batra
  5. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/tarun-tejpal-acquitted-rape-sexual-assault-case-timeline-1805212-2021-05-21
  6. https://thewire.in/law/tarun-tejpal-and-curious-case-of-the-coerced-confession

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