PANAJI: Today, the State government raised a strong objection before the Bombay High Court at Goa for an “in-camera” hearing on the appeal filed challenging the acquittal of Senior Journalist Tarun Tejpal in the sexual assault case. Tejpal had moved an application for an in-camera hearing in the matter.
When the matter came up for hearing today morning, Adv Amit Desai, representing Tejpal, moved an application to hear the matter in-camera and not in open Court, as it was heard before the Special Court, Mapusa.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, representing the Goa Government, objected to the in-camera hearing.
SGI said that our institution has failed in this case, and after this judgment, rape victims will be afraid to come forward.
He said that the way our institution has failed to leave an inevitable impression upon all victims of sexual onslaught has a deterrent effect upon those potential victims.
“We need to sensitise everyone on how to deal with it,” Mehta told Court.
“The country has a right to know what happened with the girl, who came with a complaint, precise facts, corroborative evidence,” Mehta said.
The matter was adjourned to August 31. However, both parties approached the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, pleading to hold the next hearing in this case through Video conferencing since the Court is hearing all matters via a VC till August 17.
The State Government had moved High Court challenging the trial court order dated May 21 to acquit Tejpal in the sexual assault case filed by his junior colleague. The incident reportedly took place in November 2013.
In its amended grounds for appeal that run into 66 pages, the Goa government had cited 84 reasons explaining how the trial court verdict is “unsustainable in law”.
The State stated that the judgment delivered by Additional Sessions Judge Kshama Joshi “has been influenced by extraneous inadmissible materials and testimonies, graphic details of the past sexual history of the victim, prohibited by law and has used the same for purposes of censuring her character and discrediting her evidence”.
The government has also stated that the trial court was “pedantic, illogical and harsh” in considering the woman’s statement.