Goa govt seeks retrial in Tarun Tejpal case, cites trial court's observations

2nd June,2021

Goa govt seeks retrial in Tarun Tejpal case, cites trial court's observations


In its appeal to the Bombay High Court against journalist Tarun Tejpal's acquittal in a rape case, the Goa government argued that the case was appropriate for retry, noting the trial court's lack of understanding of a victim's post-trauma behaviour and chastising her character.

The appeal, which was filed before the HC's Goa bench, was revised last week to include the judgement and additional arguments against Tejpal's acquittal.The appeal, which was filed before the HC's Goa bench, was revised last week to include the judgement and additional arguments against Tejpal's acquittal.

According to the government, the trial court "accepted the testimony given by defence witnesses as gospel truth, while simultaneously discrediting the evidence supplied by the victim and prosecution witnesses without any finding."According to the government, the trial court "accepted the testimony given by defence witnesses as gospel truth, while simultaneously discrediting the evidence supplied by the victim and prosecution witnesses without any finding."

It also argued that the trial court disregarded the most important piece of evidence in the case (the apologetic e-mail), which "proved the accused's guilt beyond a shadow of doubt."Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of the Tehelka magazine, was acquitted on May 21 by Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi in the case where he was accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague in a lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013 while they were attending an event.Rather than attempting to determine the accused's guilty part, the entire judgement focuses on indicting the complainant. "The trial court utterly ignored the most significant piece of evidence in the case (the apologetic e-mail) that demonstrated the accused's guilt beyond a shadow of doubt," the appeal stated.

It further alleged that the trial court erred in scrutinising the victim's post-event behaviour, and that she told three of her male coworkers about the incident rather than her female roommate.