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Key Takeaways

  • The Goa government on Tuesday filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court against Tehelka magazine founder editor Tarun Tejpal's acquittal by a sessions court in the sexual assault case.
  • Mr. Tejpal was acquitted of sexually assaulting a former female colleague inside the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013 by a Goa sessions court on May 21.
  • The State government has challenged the order in the Bombay High Court's Goa bench, according to Goa Advocate General Devidas Pangam.
  • Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant stated that his government would file an appeal in the High Court against Mr. Tejpal's acquittal because he believed there was evidence against him.
  • On November 7, 2013, the alleged incident occurred. In the wake of sexual assault allegations, Mr. Tejpal resigned as editor-in-chief of Tehelka.

Case in Hand

  • Tejpal was charged with rape, sexual harassment, and wrongful restraint in September 2017 by a Goa trial court.
  • He had entered a not-guilty plea. Tejpal, on the other hand, had blamed the occurrence on a "lapse of judgement" in an internal email.
  • In 2014, the Goa Police filed a chargesheet in the case. He was charged with violating Indian Penal Code 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).
  • The trial began in September 2017 but was frequently postponed while Tejpal challenged the claims in the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court. His pleas to suppress the rape accusations against him were denied by both the Supreme Court and the High Court.
  • The High Court's decision was expected sooner but was repeatedly postponed. When the verdict was postponed until Friday last Wednesday, Tejpal's lawyer Suhas Velip said that it was because the additional sessions court judge in Mapusa was unable to function due to the lack of electricity for the previous 2-3 days. The court had previously postponed the verdict until May 12, citing a personnel shortage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

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