Tarun Tejpal's Acquittal Judgement Is 'Encyclopedia' On Conduct Of Sexual Assault Victim: Tushar Mehta Before Bombay HC
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Wednesday told the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court that the judgment of the trial court acquitting Tarun Tejpal, former editor of Tehelka, in a sexual assault case was an "encyclopedia" on the conduct of a sexual assault victim.
A Division Bench of Justice M S Sonak and Justice R N Laddha was hearing the Goa government's application seeking leave to appeal against the acquittal of Tejpal in the case of rape and sexual assault.
Tejpal was accused of sexually assaulting his then colleague in an elevator of a hotel in Goa in November 2013 during an event.
Arguing in the court, Mehta said the judgment of the trial court is an encyclopedia as to what should be the ideal conduct of a victim of sexual assault.
"The judgement has stated how she should behave for being a successful litigant," Mehta said.
Senior Advocate Amit Desai, who represents Tejpal, had earlier argued that while filing the appeal, the Goa government had not followed the statutory procedure. He said the appeal was filed relying on the operative part of the judgment and before the full judgment was made available.
"A senior judge gave a judgment, examined evidence for six to seven years, the judgment is more than 500 pages and with the stroke of a pen they say the judge is wrong. This government has no respect for the independence of the judiciary," Desai had argued in the Court.
The Solicitor General stated that the trial judge had named the woman in the judgment and they had to seek the high court's directions to redact the parts that revealed the woman's identity in the judgment.
In May last year, the court had acquitted Tejpal of the charge of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Tejpal has moved an application before the court to renew his passport, which has been with the trial court since 2018.
Desai said his client wished to travel abroad on business for which he would make a separate application seeking the court's permission. He, however, said that at this stage, he only wanted to apply for renewal of his passport.
The matter has been posted for hearing on April 19.
With PTI inputs