The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court, on Monday, decided to hear an appeal filed by the Goa Government against the acquittal of Tarun Tejpal, the former Editor In Chief of Tehelka magazine, in a rape case filed by his former colleague in 2013. The Court will conduct a virtual hearing on October 27 as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is appearing in the case from Delhi. Tejpal was acquitted by the Trial Court in May this year.

A bench of Justice MS Sonak and Justice MS Jawalkar adjourned the matter till October 27 after Goa's Advocate General Devidas Pangam and a lawyer representing Tejpal asked for an adjournment. Justice Sonak said the Court will set up the facility for a virtual hearing in the matter by the next date.

Advocate General Pangam said the hearing on Monday was held to decide the next date (of hearing into the matter). Earlier, the HC had on August 31 adjourned the hearing on the appeal till September 20, pending request before the Chief Justice for a hybrid (physical plus virtual) hearing in the matter. Before that, the matter was being heard online.

On August 31, for the first time, the matter was taken up physically, in the wake of the Goa Government relaxing several COVID-19 curbs. Last month, Tejpal in a submission before the HC sought an 'in-camera' hearing of the Goa government's appeal and sought its dismissal while raising preliminary objections on its maintainability.

However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had at that time opposed Tejpal's request for the 'in-camera' hearing, saying that "the country has the right to know how the institution dealt with the girl (victim)". On May 21 this year, a Sessions Court acquitted Tejpal in the case where he was accused of sexually assaulting his then colleague in a lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013 when they were attending an event.

With PTI inputs