The Goa government has moved the Bombay High Court, challenging the acquittal of Tarun Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, in the 2013 rape case. On May 21, a sessions court in Goa had acquitted him of the charges of sexually assaulting a female colleague in the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013. The Goa government has now challenged the Goa bench in the Bombay High Court, reported Live Law.
When the verdict was pronounced, the Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said that they will challenge the order in the high court. â€śNo injustice to women will be tolerated in the state,â€ť the CM had said. Pramod Sawant said that he had seen the evidence and documents related to the case and was personally convinced that the verdict should be challenged as there was enough evidence against Tarun Tejpal. The womanâ€™s counsel and special Public Prosecutor Francisco Tavora had also earlier said that the Goa government will file an appeal in the High Court against the order.
Tarun Tejpal faced trial under various sections of the Indian Penal Code â€” sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 376(2)(f) (person in position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376(2)k) (rape by person in position of control). Additional sessions judge Kshama Joshi acquitted him of all these charges.
The Goa police arrested Tarun Tejpal on November 30, 2013. In February 2014, the Goa Crime Branch filed the chargesheet against him. The sessions court had framed the charges against him on September 29, 2017. However, the trial began only on December 7, 2020, and concluded on February 2021.