On Thursday, the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court adjourned to August 10, the appeal against the acquittal of the former editor of Tehelka magazine Tarun Tejpal after his counsel sought more time.
A division bench of Justices MS Sonak and MS Jawalkar postponed the hearing. The development came after Tejpal’s lawyer Amit Desai, informed the court that his instructing counsel Ankur Chawla had ‘bereavement’ and some documents were yet to be furnished. On the other hand, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and state Advocate General Devidas Pangam appeared on behalf of the state.
In the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who argued for the state of Goa, sought leave to file an appeal against the acquittal. “The way in which the trial court has proceeded leaves much to be desired. At least the judiciary is not expected to proceed. I think not granting leave is not even an option,” Mehta added.
In its appeal, the Goa government assailed the judgment of additional sessions judge Kshama Joshi calling it ‘perverse’ and ‘influenced by extraneous inadmissible materials and testimonies, graphic details of the past sexual history of the victim’.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pangam urged that the hearing be scheduled before August 17 as the court may resume physical hearings after August 15.
In 2013 in Goa, the former editor of Tehelka magazine was accused of raping a junior colleague in the elevator of a five-star hotel. The complainant alleged that Tejpal raped her in a lift in the hotel on November 7 and attempted to assault her again on November 8. Tejpal, who refuted the charges in court, was acquitted by the fast-track court on May 21.